Lack of vendor support for equipment main driver for equipment decommissioning activities – TXO

  • Operators estimate that an average of 20-30% of their equipment will be unsupported within the next two years


Chepstow, May 30th 2024: New research from TXO, the leading provider of end-to-end circular telecom network solutions, has revealed that the leading motive for decommissioning network equipment is the need to replace hardware no longer supported by the manufacturer. This surpasses priorities such as reducing operational expenses, complying with regulations, and addressing power considerations.

The finding is driven by the fact that operators estimate that an average of 20-30% of their equipment will become obsolete (unsupported) within the next two years. Remarkably, 15% of operators anticipate that up to half of their equipment will face obsolescence within the same timeframe.

Kieran Crawford, Group Director at TXO explains: “The absence of extended support for equipment stems from the OEM’s relentless pursuit of selling new products. Nevertheless, this practice incurs substantial costs for operators and exacerbates their carbon footprint. Operators must shift away from the perpetual cycle of purchasing new equipment and instead explore avenues to prolong the lifespan of their current network assets.”

Operators also ranked the following as key drivers for decommissioning activities, and highlighted the benefits they were expecting to deliver:

  • Power reductions and sustainability considerations: 61% of operators are expecting to achieve a power reduction of between 5% and 30% through replacing legacy equipment. This could include old 2G and 3G equipment, which 33% of operators said they are removing as a priority.
  • Reducing OPEX: The vast majority (82%) of operators surveyed expect an operational cost reduction of 10-30% from decommissioning activity.
  • Regulatory requirements: This includes the requirement to remove equipment deemed by some governments to be unsafe. 24% of operators said they are removing vendor-specific hardware such as that from Huawei as a priority.

John Teasdale, Group Chief Networks Officer at TXO says: “Across the industry, we’re seeing a big move towards network rationalisation, as operators streamline operations to cut costs. By optimising infrastructure, both in terms of quantity and efficiency of hardware, operators could save significantly on power. They may be underestimating the impact on power consumption and costs. Every kilowatt saved on equipment means another saved in cooling, with a 50% reduction in power consumption across sites is achievable.”

Encouragingly, the research reveals that many operators are leveraging the circular economy to mitigate the environmental and financial impact of decommissioning old hardware. The main initiatives include:

  • Resale: 78% of operators resell a portion of their decommissioned hardware and 22% of respondents resell more than half of all their decommissioned hardware.
  • Recycling: 80% of operators say they recycle some of their decommissioned hardware; among these, 25% recycle more than half of their equipment.
  • Reusing: Leveraging equipment elsewhere within the network is relatively uncommon, with more than half of the respondents repurposing less than 10% of their decommissioned hardware.

Just over half of the respondents expect decommissioning programmes to last up to two years, while the rest anticipate a minimum duration of three years. The main barriers to decommissioning equipment in operators’ eyes are the cost of upgrading to newer technologies (43%) and a shortage of skills or labour (29%). The circular economy is also being used to maintain networks during the decommissioning process, with 63% of operators surveyed purchasing second-user equipment for this purpose.

This content extract was originally sourced from an external website (TXO) and is the copyright of the external website owner. TelecomTV is not responsible for the content of external websites. Legal Notices

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