How Nokia Single RAN assisted China Unicom to save 84% of energy

Nokia Single RAN solutionHarry Kuosa, who’s responsible for Single RAN marketing at Nokia Networks, said that Nokia Single RAN solution has assisted China Unicom to save 84 percent of energy while building its 4G network in the country.

The development indicates that addition of radio capacity to handle more network traffic does not always lead to rising operational costs, said Harry Kuosa in a blog post on 27 November.

Nokia Single RAN Advanced allowed telecom operators such as China Unicom to upgrade its 2G and 3G cell sites in Hunan province to 4G within a day.

China Unicom has benefited from capital expenditure (Capex) 48 percent lower than conventional solutions, while also seeing an 86 percent reduction in radio network operational costs.

Investment in Nokia Single RAN solution means that all radio technologies run on one hardware platform implemented by single software.

Sharing cuts complexity because fewer boxes are needed, while running GSM, WCDMA and LTE in one base station reduces energy consumption compared to deploying the same technologies on separate base stations.

Nokia said a single transport backhaul connection shared by 2G, 3G and 4G technologies can reduce backhaul carbon emissions by up to 66 percent.

Nokia said the rapid, simple deployment and low costs have allowed China Unicom to rack up the rate of deployment, with around 100 sites converted every month. A wide range of sites are being modernized to support LTE at 2.1 GHz, both Nokia sites and from other vendors.

China Unicom doubled the number of its LTE subscribers in the province and increased data traffic by nearly four times between April 2016 and April 2017.

The operator plans to introduce Nokia AirScale, the platform for IoT and 5G, offering low latency and massive broadband at the same time.