Chunghwa Telecom cuts energy use by an average of 33 percent using Ericsson 5G solutions

Chunghwa Telecom (CHT), the largest telecoms company in Taiwan, has brought energy efficiency to the fore in a recent 5G mid-band upgrade and was amply rewarded when it cut power consumption by more than one third while also improving network performance.

CHT has begun upgrading their installed Ericsson base of mid-band Massive MIMO from AIR 6488 to AIR 6419 and from AIR 3239 to AIR 3219 as part of their network modernization. Powered by Ericsson Silicon, the latest generation Massive MIMO radios, with 32 or 64 transmit/receive branches, have been developed with the goals of having industry-leading energy efficiency and the smallest size and weight possible.

An upgrade of mid-band 5G installed base stations in an estimated 2,000 sites, along with at least 150 C-RAN (centralized radio access network) sites, would not only strengthen CHT’s 5G commercial rollout but also significantly lower both operating costs and energy usage to support their sustainability goal of a one percent annual reduction in power consumption.

Energy efficiency and sustainability have become critical topics in the industry, with both high up on the agenda of CHT, a recent winner of the Taiwan Sustainability Action award, and the Taiwanese government. 

Alex Chien, President of Network Technology, Chunghwa Telecom, says: “Sustainability has always been at the heart of our business. CHT has been included in Dow Jones Sustainability Emerging Markets Index for 10 years in a row and is being recognized by numerous sustainability awards globally. We believe network modernization is a key enabler for a greener digital infrastructure as the foundation for the societal Net Zero target. Our partnership with Ericsson will accelerate our transformation to a low-carbon future.”

David Hammarwall, Acting Head of Product Area Networks, Ericsson, says: “Building a high-performing and energy-efficient 5G network with Chunghwa Telecom is part of our vision for resilient and sustainable future networks. Using our energy-optimized 5G portfolio, we are tackling one of our industry’s biggest challenges – reducing network energy consumption and carbon footprint while scaling up 5G. Our goal is to realize a low-carbon future while accelerating 5G experience.”  

Simpler deployment, lower power consumption, better performance

AIR 6419 weighs 60 percent less than its predecessor, which makes it easy to carry to the site and installed by one person. At the same time, the new units have 192 antenna elements (vs 128 in previous installation), improving 5G capacity and coverage. With the latest Ericsson 5G solutions deployed, the actual power consumption in the field was reduced by an average of 33 percent, lowering CO2 emissions, and cutting CHT’s energy bills. 

In addition, by upgrading to the latest RAN Compute baseband portfolio, the new C-RAN design enabled yet more energy savings. Chunghwa Telecom installed Ericsson’s Fronthaul 6000 to connect the radios and the RAN Compute in the C-RAN hub. Fronthaul 6000 reduces fiber cost while increasing throughput in existing fibers. By using the passive parts of the Fronthaul 6000 portfolio, energy consumption could also be minimized.

Chunghwa Telecom also installed Router 6000 to aggregate and connect all RAN Compute units to the backhaul network. Router 6000 provides best-in-class time and frequency synchronization between radios. It also serves as a safety precaution for the existing synchronization solutions. This has reduced the overall operating costs and improved network performance.

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