DT, Ericsson Partner for Sustainable Mobile Sites
March 1, 2021
In a German village about 100 miles north of Munich, Deutsche Telekom and
Ericsson are pioneering the use of solar energy for mobile broadband sites. The
use of renewable energy is increasing in sectors across Germany, but solar
modules have not yet been used to power commercial mobile broadband sites.
Through the joint initiative, the two companies want to show that independent
energy supply for mobile phone sites with solar power is possible.
As part of the project, small solar modules – with a total surface area of about
12 m2 (129 ft2) - were erected at a Deutsche Telekom mobile site in Dittenheim.
The Ericsson Power System is handling maximum power point tracking (MPP) as well
as the necessary voltage conversion. The solution also includes integration of
the solar solutions into the same management system that also controls the Radio
Access Network (RAN).
The tests, carried out in the second half of 2020, showed that solar energy is
able to contribute to more than two-thirds of the site's total power during peak
hours. Depending on the solar irradiation and technology configuration, larger
shares, including up to fully autonomous power supply, where are also observed.
This is thanks to the energy-efficient radio equipment.
The project confirms the potential of solar energy as an alternative power
source for mobile sites and opens up for other renewable power sources.
Leif Heitzer, Senior Vice President Technology Guidance & Economics at Deutsche
Telekom, says: “Autonomous power supply for mobile sites not only reduces our
CO2 emissions, but also shall help enabling network expansion in locations,
where development costs were previously not economical.”
Heather Johnson, Vice President for Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility,
Ericsson, says: “Ericsson is a driving force for global climate action and this
project is another example for how a network-level approach can be deployed
sustainably for mobile networks. We welcome this partnership with Deutsche
Telekom and we continue to be committed to supporting our customers, manage
their network energy consumption and related carbon emissions.”
initiative is intended to make an important contribution for energy transition
efforts and towards reducing the impact on climate change. Since the beginning
of 2021, Deutsche Telekom has been sourcing its electricity throughout the group
exclusively from renewable energies. By 2030, other CO2 emissions are to be
reduced by 90 percent compared to 2017.
Ericsson is a strong supporter of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and is
an active member of the Exponential Roadmap initiative. Telecommunication
infrastructure enables innovations in many industry sectors, leading to more
efficient business processes and ultimately a low-carbon society.
Ericsson has a high focus on the energy efficiency of its portfolio, as detailed
end-to-end Life Cycle Analysis reveals that the operational phase of the product
is responsible for about 80 percent of CO2 emission of the total life cycle. A
higher energy efficiency of the radio site solutions means that local generated
renewable energy will become more feasible. Furthermore, Ericsson has set a goal
to become climate neutral by 2030 in its own activities.