Energy consumption has always been a significant consideration for service providers as it is one of the highest operating costs. But it is becoming even more important due to climate change and sustainability considerations.
As per the GSMA, energy costs account for 20-25% of a network's total cost of ownership for 4G operators. Operators globally spend approximately USD 17 billion on energy every year. With the pending deployment of more NR base stations in 5G, such as small base stations with massive MIMO in high band and 5G networks, energy consumption is expected to increase by as much as 140% in some 5G deployment scenarios. It therefore calls for immediate action.
As operators aiming to decrease power consumption in 5G networks through different energy-saving techniques, the complexity of non-standardized energy-saving mechanisms are becoming a blocker to achieving the desired energy reduction targets.
However, AI/ML intelligence, combined with technology enablers like NWDAF/RIC in 5G, has unlocked various innovation paths for the telco industry to design and execute such energy efficiency solutions in an economical and standard way to overcome the challenges encountered in current methods.
Project Bose represents a great example of such innovative use cases. Its objective is to create a sustainable 5G network - and beyond - using a data-driven approach. To achieve this, it has introduced five energy-saving levers - directional UE paging, MICO mode, energy aware NF placement, smart UPF selection, and intelligent CPU tuning - that leverage analytics information from an underlying Capgemini NWDAF framework, and work in tandem to optimize energy consumption in the network and associated IoT devices.
This result in significant CO2 emission reductions and cost savings, with no negative impact on end users' QoE. Project Bose also provides a platform to build new energy-saving levers in the future.
Thanks to a collaboration with Intel for its observability framework, Project Bose is able to capture a vast variety of network and infra metrics at different levels in the 5G ecosystem and provides a holistic energy-saving solution for operators.
In tests conducted with this solution in the lab, we have observed an average energy saving of 18%, resulting in around a 14% reduction in CO2 emissions. It is a very impressive first step. But it is just the beginning. Project Bose still has many exciting innovations to come.