Taiwan Introduces 5G Base Station Energy Saving Solution

The 5G industry may mean greater possibilities in communications but 5G base stations are notorious for their big appetite for energy – far more than conventional base stations (e.g., 4G). It’s why countries utilising 5G networks have been welcoming new business opportunities associated with the move towards net-zero carbon emissions. Wanting to find a solution for everyone, Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has formulated an applied technology initiative that allows 5G networks to save on energy big time.

Specifically, MOEA has supported the country’s foremost technology research arm, the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) in the Research and Development (R&D) of 5G energy-saving private network solutions. Together with a private entity, ITRI is introducing 5G Open RAN (O-RAN), a unique way for 5G base stations to save energy. The product debuted online in this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC).

The 5G O-RAN energy-saving private network solution demonstrates how smart algorithms in conjunction with network traffic monitoring and traffic steering technology allow 5G base stations to provide smart, energy-saving and uninterrupted services. This carbon-reduction solution is also poised to promote broader usage of 5G base stations. Doing so could generate new business opportunities.

Carbon dioxide has been identified as a greenhouse gas trapping heat inside the Earth’s atmosphere and causing the planet to be warmer than it has to be. As 5G networks can cater to heavier data usage, it means its network is bound to produce a bigger carbon footprint than the more traditional 4G network. In short, the highly-dense data deployments typical of a 5G base will require a greater amount of energy and by default, a larger carbon footprint.

A typical 5G base station consumes up to twice or more the power of a 4G base station. And energy costs can grow even more at higher frequencies, due to a need for more antennas and a denser layer of small cells. What’s worse, emerging technologies can add up. For instance, edge computing facilities needed to support local processing and new internet of things (IoT) services will also add to overall network power usage.

ITRI’s 5G O-RAN energy-saving private network solution facilitates base station equipment and systems integration firms in effectively controlling the private network costs of 5G base stations. More importantly, the novel system provides hardware and software integration solutions for 5G base station products.

Already, the prospects of Taiwan’s energy-saving 5G technology are good. The biggest names in ICT technology have shown a unique interest in the use of the revolutionary system. Taiwan’s first smart base station network management system is easy to install. The solution provides rapid deployment and efficient management of private networks and can be used in smart factories, hospitals, and entertainment venues.

Taiwan has been at the forefront of ICT for years now. One of the things that have made the island nation grow by leaps and bounds when it comes to emerging technologies is its determined R&D. Truly, ITRI embodies how research should be. Its reach is vast with offices and research centres all over the world.

It comes as no surprise Taiwan has been able to fortify its role as a global ICT leader. The planet’s semiconductor capital is bound to enjoy this dominance in the field. For instance, the industry should benefit when electric cars go boom in the years to come as reported on OpenGov Asia. In addition to all this, the advent of 5G in ICT networks should be another area where the country can excel.

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