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Building a Green and Fully-connected Africa with Huawei 5G Power
[Dec 3rd, 2019]

Africa is a key emerging market for new mobile telecom technologies and services. The investment in 3G and 4G continues to rising, and 5G is becoming real, with the commercial launch of 5G in Lesotho and South Africa.

The nature of 5G means that there will be many more base stations. Among the challenges that come with this is the increased energy infrastructure requirements.

During AfricaCom 2019, Zhang Fan, Director of Huawei’s Network Energy Marketing Operations explained how the company’s power solution could assist telecos.

Doubled network power consumption requires massive reconstruction in 5G era

With the advent of the 5G era, carriers are facing the challenge of doubled network power consumption. This requires massive reconstruction of the existing site infrastructure.

According to Huawei’s survey of typical sites worldwide, about 30% of sites will be face  insufficient mains capacity after 5G is deployed. To stay on main supply, means a costly and time consuming upgrade. For example, modernisation of a single site in Kenya costs USD5000 and takes between three to six months.

In addition, to expand the power supply capacity, new cabinets are required; the annual rental for a new cabinet is about USD2000.

High fuel cost caused by poor mains supply

Another big problem in Africa is that the mains supply is poor. About 70% of sites are affected by a lack of stable mains supply; and even more constraining, about 40% sites have no mains supply at all, according to industry insight. In these sites, two diesel generators (DGs) are required to run all day long to ensure normal site operation. The annual fuel charge for a single site exceeds USD15000, causing high operational expenditure (OPEX).

Calling for renewable energy

In June 2019, South Africa issued Carbon Tax Act 15 to levy taxes on greenhouse gas emissions. The government hopes to encourage enterprises to pivot to renewable energy and see greenhouse gas emissions drop by 34% till 2020 and 42% by 2025. So saving energy and reducing carbon emissions have become an operational requirement for carriers.

Huawei’s Telecom Energy Solution

  1. 5G Power Solution Gets the Network Ready for 5G

In preparation for the deployment of the next generation network, it’s important to deploy 5G-oriented energy infrastructure for future success. Traditional telecom energy technologies cannot meet the challenges brought by these new changes. The telecom energy industry will usher in a technological and industrial upgrade. Based on it’s understanding of 5G network evolution requirements, Huawei has launched the 5G Power Solution.

Telecom energy is considered and designed as a crucial part of the end-to-end 5G solution. The solution complies with the concepts of simple, smart, and green to help carriers deploy 5G with lower costs and in a shorter construction period.

  • The industry-leading high-density power supply technology improves the power density by four times and enables one cabinet to support 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G devices.
  • The innovative outdoor blade power supply and batteries provide cabinet-free deployment in scenarios where new cabinets cannot be added.
  • Through the collaboration of AI technology and the power supply system, 5G Power provides intelligent peak shaving and voltage boosting technologies, greatly reducing the costs of mains and cable reconstruction and initial investment in 5G evolution.
  • Key technologies such as site solar access, efficient rectification, and intelligent voltage boosting are used to improve end-to-end energy efficiency.

In 2019, Huawei’s 5G Power won the Sustainable Impact award of the International Telecommunication Union for its outstanding contribution to energy conservation and emission reduction of mobile networks.

  1. Advanced Hybrid Power System Helps Carbon Emission Reduction

 In areas where the mains supply is unstable or unavailable, Huawei provides an advanced hybrid power solution that features digital, AI, and advanced energy storage technologies. Compared with the traditional diesel generator power supply solution, this solution achieves zero fuel usage and zero carbon emissions.

For example, a carrier in Ethiopia saw annual fuel savings of 12 million liters. In Ghana, Huawei’s solar hybrid solution supplies power to base stations in remote areas, expanding the mobile coverage and benefiting local people in education, medical care, mobile payment and etc. At the awards ceremony of the 21st AfricaCom, this solution received the Best Sustainable Power Solution Award.

For more information on the Power Solution, click here: https://carrier.huawei.com/za/products/network-energy

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