Software from North Jutland 2operate contributes to sustainable technology in the mobile network

7. June 2020

With the implementation of new generations of 2G, 3G and 4G mobile networks, there has, over a number of years, seen a marked increase in energy consumption in Denmark as well as in the rest of the world. With the upcoming launch of 5G and the allocation of more devices and frequencies, it is expected that the power consumption of mobile masts and antennas will increase further in the coming years.

In terms of cost, this is a major challenge for the telecommunications industry, and the telecommunications companies have therefore, in recent years, taken a number of measures to reduce energy consumption and thereby also help to reduce CO2 emissions. However, the measures have mainly been based on manual or semi-automatic processes that shut down parts of the mobile network – primarily at night. A more alternative technological approach – based on artificial intelligence – to the problem is expected to be able to reduce power consumption further.

But it’s not just that straightforward. The complexity of developing with this type of algorithm requires insight into the latest research in the field. Therefore, it has been important in the work to get the Department of Computer Science at Aalborg University (AAU) involved right from the start of the project. In the process, AAU will i.a. help investigate whether their latest published research in the field of intelligent traffic light regulation can also inspire and be used for power savings in a mobile network.

We have for a long time been aware that there was a need to help mobile operators to be able to save on energy consumption. For a while we had considered starting a new greenfield development project, but when the opportunity to participate in the support program arose, it gave us just the last push to throw ourselves into the project Helle Friis, Executive Sales Manager, 2operate A / S
AI & machine learning – when new technologies are developed with less power consumption in mind

ECO-RAN (Energy Consumption Optimization in Radio Access Network) is an innovation project focusing on accelerating green and sustainable technology in mobile telecommunications. The project is led by 2operate in collaboration with the TT Network (Telenor’s and Telia’s joint mobile network) and AAU. The innovation project consists of developing models and analyzes to predict periods of the day with overcapacity in the mobile network. In this way, during the periods when the calls are few, it will be possible to shut down the masts that are not needed, and then reactivate them when the capacity increases, so that customers do not experience a reduced service quality.

One of the challenges 2operate faces is that mobile networks generate large amounts of technical data, and with the introduction of 5G, the volume will become even more extensive. The peak load on the mobile network is especially in the late afternoon and in the early evening hours, but the use also varies throughout the year. Despite this, however, it is still possible to identify a relatively similar pattern, so the algorithms must be able to recognize historical trends and patterns in order to be able to predict when the network can be turned down or off completely.

When specialists meet, added value is created

When several private and public actors are to create a successful collaboration around a project, it requires both a number of adjustments in the organizations involved, but also thorough considerations about how the collaboration should take place. From day one, it was clear to the project partners in ECO-RAN that it was important to work with agile processes, and to ensure a structure that could facilitate that new ideas could be created and tested quickly. Then the expectations could be matched and the right team put together so that the task description and the role of the individual participant could be defined. The constant exploration of ideas, whether they held water or not, was important in creating a dynamic development environment with high ceilings, and testing relevant technical possibilities.

Helle Friis points out, “Each of the project partners has specialist knowledge and competencies that the others lack, but it is precisely because of our different competencies that we have a strong collaboration. Although there is a great deal of mutual respect for professionalism and cooperation, and we often consult the other party, it has sometimes been a challenge to impart and pass on the professional knowledge between the project participants. But precisely because there are differences, we get some more angles on things which means that in the end we will hopefully get a better product out of it. ”

About 2operate A/S

Since 2009, 2operate has developed and delivered advanced software solutions for monitoring and optimizing troubleshooting in mobile networks (called OSS – Operations Support Systems). The main selling point has been the use of advanced mathematics (artificial intelligence) to enable non-technical staff of a mobile operator to solve certain diagnostic tasks that are traditionally solved by employees with a technical background. Read more about 2operate HERE

About ETI

The energy technology sector faces a number of development needs in relation to developing new innovative products, solutions or concepts. The Energy Technology Innovation (ETI) project offers a 3-year support program where small and medium-sized enterprises together with AAU can develop energy technology solutions and products. CLEAN also has four programs that cover other regions in Denmark. The EIT is financed by the EU Structural Fund under the North Jutland Region.

About 2operate A / S