Chunghwa Goes Even Greener With Ericsson 5G Midband Kit

Taiwanese telecommunications operator Chunghwa Telecom has made its network more environmentally friendly with the installation of Ericsson equipment for mid-band 5G which leads to quite a significant energy saving.

Naturally, the operator and vendor are keen to talk about the development, which essentially focuses on installing Ericsson’s new Massive MIMO kit in Chungwha’s 5G network. But it’s also worth pointing out that Ericsson isn’t the only major vendor working on reducing telecom operators’ 5G-related carbon footprint: rival Nokia is also on board.

That said, this week’s development is all about Ericsson. The Swedish provider shared data that showed an average reduction of 33% in power consumption by replacing two models of its Massive MIMO midband AIR radio products with newer versions as part of the modernization program of Chungwha Telecom’s network with mid-band 5G.

Although he didn’t specify how many sites generated the data – he simply noted that Chunghwa “started to upgrade [its] installed Ericsson’s base of Massive MIMO mid-band ”- he pointed out that there is a bigger picture. The supplier said its challenge was to prove that this upgrade could reduce energy consumption enough to support Chunghwa’s goal of a 1% annual reduction in energy consumption…as well as lead to a reduction in these very significant operating expenses.

On the first point, Ericsson says he did just that.

“An upgrade of 5G base stations installed to mid-band in approximately 2,000 sites, along with at least 150 C-RAN (centralized radio access network) sites, would not only strengthen CHT’s commercial 5G deployment, but would also significantly reduce operating costs and energy use to support their sustainability goal of a 1% annual reduction in energy consumption,” the supplier said in a statement.

However, he had little to say about the details of operating costs. On paper, a reduction in energy consumption of this magnitude should reduce operating costs, but with the current cost of the energy crisis gripping much of the world, the sums may well look different than what all the parties had previously imagined,

“Sustainability has always been at the core of our business,” said Alex Chien, President of Network Technology at Chunghwa Telecom. “We believe that network modernization is a key enabler for a greener digital infrastructure as the foundation of the Net Zero societal goal. Our partnership with Ericsson will accelerate our transformation to a low-carbon future,” Chien said. .

This being an Ericsson announcement, Chien did not mention Chunghwa’s recently announced two-year 5G network enhancement agreement with Nokia. Agreement involves installation of new kit at 4,000 sites, including Massive MIMO equipment, to both increase performance and capacity, and reduce telecom operator’s carbon footprint .

At the time, Nokia spoke about the ability of its AirScale portfolio to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, in line with Chunghwa’s own goals.

Undoubtedly, the two big European kit makers would both like to be able to position themselves as doing something higher when it comes to the green agenda. But from the perspective of the industry as a whole, it’s actually much better that they’re on the same page.

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About Eileen W. Sudduth

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