Three UK cuts energy usage with Ericsson’s AI-powered tech

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Three UK has achieved a more sustainable network through the deployment of next-generation AI-powered hardware and software solutions from Ericsson.

Over the past 18 months, Three has worked with the Swedish telecoms giant on a network modernisation initiative aimed at boosting energy performance. The efforts combine Ericsson’s industry-leading energy-efficient radios with cutting-edge AI and data analytics.

“Three UK’s collaboration with Ericsson marks a milestone in our commitment to sustainability. We’ve achieved excellent improvements in energy efficiency while expanding network capabilities for our customers,” said Iain Milligan, Chief Network Officer at Three UK.

“We plan to take these learnings on board for future projects, ensuring that we continue to improve the environmental impact of our network.”

Late last year, Three became one of the first major UK operators to deploy Ericsson’s dual-band Radio 4490. The next-gen radio unit consumes less power and is 25% lighter than previous models, simplifying site access and speeding up upgrades.

“Together with Three UK, we are redefining the network of the future and making it both smarter and more energy efficient,” commented Evangelia Tzifa, CTO of Networks & Managed Services at Ericsson UK and Ireland.

“To increase network availability and performance while reducing network energy consumption is a testament to the technology and expertise of our two great teams. I am both excited and proud to know that we are building a modern digital infrastructure together that brings not only superior performance for Three customers, but also helps to make the future more promising and sustainable.”

In addition to deploying more energy-efficient radios, Three has implemented a range of Ericsson’s software features that consume less power per radio unit during periods of low traffic.

Thanks to advanced machine learning, passive cooling, and power-saving capabilities, the new radio generation works autonomously across 4G and 5G networks to switch off components when inactive while retaining the ability to reactivate in microseconds for the next service request.

The partnership between Three and Ericsson has so far resulted in network energy efficiency improvements of up to 70% at selected sites. These gains have been achieved while improving overall network performance, reducing site footprints, and lowering CO2 emissions.

These advancements set a benchmark for future projects, ensuring ongoing improvements in the environmental impact of network infrastructure.

(Photo by Casey Horner)

See also: NEC develops compact antenna for ‘Beyond 5G’

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