Vodafone and Ericsson’s 5G breakthrough trial shows success

Vodafone and Ericsson have completed the first deployment of a new 5G radio that saw energy consumption decrease as much as half

The two companies demonstrated a 43% reduction in 5G energy consumption, and as much as 55% at off-peak times, during the trial in Central London. 

Now, Vodafone will deploy 1,500 new, low-power consumption 5G units by April 2022. This deployment will enable the most environmentally responsible 5G deployment strategy without sacrificing performance.

Andrea Dona, Chief Network Officer, Vodafone UK, said: “Our strategy is simple; turn off anything we don’t need, modernise our network where possible, and use the most energy-efficient options available without compromising the service we deliver to our customers. The success of this trial allows us to explore new ways we can more effectively manage the energy consumption of our network with our partner Ericsson.”

“There is no silver bullet for managing network energy consumption – it is about putting sustainability at the heart of every decision and adding up all the small gains to make a material difference,” he continued. 

This initiative using the new 5G technology further supports Vodafone’s commitment to achieve net-zero for its UK operations by 207 and across its full carbon footprint.

Building the 5G network of the future 

The new technology used in the trial saw the Ericsson antenna-integrated radio solution (AIR 3227) deployed on the roof of Vodafone’s Speechmark office in Southwark, Central London.

Further deployment of this equipment will help reduce Vodafone’s forecasted energy consumption of its future 5G networks.

Björn Odenhammar, CTO, Networks & Managed Services, Ericsson UK & Ireland, said: “Building on the success of an award-winning 5G network in London, it is another fantastic achievement for Vodafone and Ericsson to reduce network energy consumption by a daily average of 43%.”

“Sustainability is central to Ericsson’s purpose and our industry-leading new radios will help Vodafone to reduce network energy consumption, simplify network rollout and efficiently manage the expected growth in data traffic of both current and future 5G networks. Together we are building the 5G network of the future – one that delivers the highest possible performance with improved resource efficiency and low environmental impacts,” he added.

Successful working partnership to deliver 5G services

Ericsson and Vodafone UK first launched commercial 5G services in 2019. The strong working partnership was recognised for a high performing best-in-class 5G network in London in 2020. 

It was announced in June 2021 that Ericsson will be supporting Vodafone’s entire cloud-native 5G Core Standalone for packet core applications. This is a critical milestone to deliver 5G Standalone connectivity services.

The pair have also been collaborating to reduce the environmental impact of site upgrades and speed up network deployment through the use of drones and Ericsson’s Intelligent Site Engineering service.

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