Radisys: Leading the Charge in Sustainable Network with Partners

Explore how Radisys and its industry partners are enhancing energy efficiency and sustainability in 5G networks, focusing on Open RAN solutions.

Introduction | Overview of Energy Savings in 5G Base Stations

Energy savings at 5G base station (CU and DU) leveraging underlying hardware and cloud platform features. Radisys CU and DU software provides energy-efficient CU and DU implementation in an O-RAN architecture-based deployment that can be programmatically controlled to switch to energy savings states based on network traffic conditions.

Challenges | Addressing Energy Use in Radio Access Networks

Global telcos are now focusing on reducing energy consumption in radio access networks. Energy consumed by the base station (CU/DU) running on COTS hardware or cloud platform is a key contributor. Optimization of energy utilization is an intricate challenge as the time constraints and throughput requirements of 5G are very demanding and need high-performance compute power. Dynamically switching power consumption and meeting the service requirements of connected users while consuming lower energy needs a high-quality software implementation.

Solution Implemented | Achieved Energy Reductions in High and Low Traffic Conditions

Energy savings at a minimum of 12% were realized at high load traffic conditions, and 20% were ensured in reduced load conditions

Radisys CU and DU software is optimized to work at full power and lower power states, with closed-loop control of power utilization. The software ensures user connectivity and throughput while running in energy-efficient states. The Radisys solution is optimized for lower CPU utilization. This implementation is platform agnostic, and the gains can be realized on multiple hardware and cloud platforms.

Radisys Sustainable Network Trial with Industry Partners

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKQIR84leh0&t=1s

Vodafone, with its achievement of using 100% renewable energy for its European networks, is now focusing on making its future network technologies more energy-efficient. This includes Open Radio Access Networks (RANs), where Radisys, along with other tech companies, plays a significant role. Vodafone aims to convert 30% of its EU mobile sites to Open RAN by 2030, balancing technological advancement with environmental responsibility.

Energy Efficiency in Open RAN

During the Global PlugFest Spring 2022 event, organized by the O-RAN ALLIANCE, Vodafone and partners like Radisys showcased methods to reduce energy usage in Open RAN setups. These efforts are crucial for Vodafone‘s goal to surpass current network energy efficiency standards. The approach demands standardized methods for evaluating and monitoring energy use in multi-vendor Open RAN systems, which will make this technology more transparent and widely accepted.

Achievements in Energy Reduction

In a notable experiment at the POWDER laboratory, the University of Utah, Vodafone collaborated with Wind River, Intel, Keysight Technologies, and Radisys, achieving a 9-12% reduction in power consumption in Open RAN infrastructures. This experiment, replicating real-world traffic scenarios, marks a significant step in proving the viability of Open RAN for energy savings in practical settings.

Future Live Environment Testing

Further tests are planned to validate if these energy efficiency improvements can be replicated in real-world Open RAN deployments. This is a crucial step towards ensuring the gains observed in controlled environments hold up in actual network conditions.

Radisys’ Role and Perspective

Radisysimplemented energy-efficient CU & DU software supporting the following features:

  • CU and DU software that runs with lower CPU utilization while underlying processors switch to a lower power state
  • Ability to maintain service level guarantees to users connected to the network while base station
  • Energy-efficient scheduling of user traffic while conserving CPU core utilization
  • Closed loop control of power through O-RAN interfaces (O1, O2, and E2) enabled by UE and cell level KPIs from CU and DU

The Way Forward in Sustainable Network Technologies

As Vodafone continues to innovate in this area, including trials of self-powered masts, the role of industry collaboration becomes even more pronounced. The success of these initiatives requires a united effort from all industry players, with forums like the O-RAN ALLIANCE facilitating this collaboration. Radisys, aligned with these goals, recognizes the opportunity to integrate greener technologies that enhance connectivity while contributing to a more sustainable future.

The whitepaper: Open RAN MoU progress update on maturity, security, and energy efficiency. It presents comprehensive info on the developments in Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) technology, focusing particularly on its maturity, security, and energy efficiency.

Energy Efficiency and Sustainability:

  • Hardware Efficiency: The paper highlights the advancements in energy-efficient hardware and sleep modes, which are instrumental in making Open RAN systems at least as energy-efficient as traditional RAN systems.
  • Collaborative Enhancements: It discusses how Open RAN MoU Operators collaborate with the industry to boost the energy efficiency of all Open RAN components, especially radio transmitters and cloud infrastructure.
  • Energy Monitoring Framework: A key focus is on developing a general framework for energy monitoring. This framework emphasizes tools and methodologies for measuring power consumption across the Open RAN system, which will enable real-time reporting of power metrics and automated network energy efficiency management.
  • Future Prospects: There’s an expectation that these developments will eventually allow Open RAN to surpass the energy efficiency of traditional RAN solutions, leveraging native intelligence and real-time monitoring.

Green Networks:

  • AI and ML Integration: The integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning is seen as a pivotal factor in enhancing the energy efficiency of Open RAN. This approach allows for more nuanced and efficient management of RAN elements, adapting to traffic and intelligently switching off/on components.
  • Advanced Sleep Modes: Innovations in sleep mode functionalities in radio transmitters and other network elements contribute to reduced energy consumption, particularly when network demand is low.
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