Three UK Sees up to 70% Boost in Mobile Network Energy Efficiency

Mobile operator Three UK has announced that they’ve been able to work with strategic supplier Ericsson to improve the energy efficiency of their national 4G and 5G (mobile broadband) network by up to 70% “at selected sites“. This is largely thanks to the deployment of next-generation AI-powered hardware and software solutions.

The mobile operator has spent much of the last 18 months delivering a network modernisation programme, which has included various changes. For example, at the end of 2023 Three UK became one of the first major operators in the UK to deploy Ericsson’s latest dual-band Radio 4490, which consumes less power and is 25% lighter than previous models (i.e. easier to install on some rooftop sites).

The operator has also upgraded some of their existing software, which introduced features that have enabled some of their kit to consume less power per radio during low traffic hours (i.e. advanced machine learning, passive cooling and power-saving features). In simple terms, this switches off radio components when not active, while having the capability to switch them on again in microseconds for the next service request.

Iain Milligan, Chief Network Officer of Three UK, said:

“Three UK’s collaboration with Ericsson marks a milestone in our commitment to sustainability. We’ve achieved excellent improvements in energy efficiency while expanding network capabilities for our customers. We plan to take these learnings on board for future projects, ensuring that we continue to improve the environmental impact of our network.”

As well as helping to save money on electricity, this also means that Three UK’s network will produce lower CO2 emissions and all without comprising on their network performance. But it should be said that other network operators have been deploying the same or similar solutions, and the removal of older 3G services will also be contributing to greater energy efficiency and performance.

Recent Posts