Saving carbon emissions with the Green Radio project

The problem:

In the telecommunications industry, power consumed by cell tower radios is a significant contributor to CO2 emissions, posing a substantial environmental challenge. Telenor Group, facing the pressing need to reduce its CO2 footprint and achieve carbon neutrality, recognised the necessity to address the high energy consumption of their network operations.

The solution:

Telenor Group responded to this challenge with the 'Green Radio' project, an innovative approach utilising data analytics and AI to optimise the energy efficiency of their radio networks. The project developed algorithms to profile and predict load for individual radio units, enabling an automated transition to low-power modes during periods of low usage. This AI-driven solution effectively reduces power consumption and CO2 emissions without compromising network performance.

The impact:

The 'Green Radio' project significantly contributes to Telenor’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. By implementing AI-driven algorithms for power management, Telenor has seen a substantial reduction in energy usage in their networks. For instance, in Denmark, the project has more than doubled the energy savings from sleep-mode functions, leading to a considerable decrease in CO2 emissions, equivalent to the annual emissions of around 250 standard cars.

The technology:

The technological core of the Green Radio project involves sophisticated algorithms that analyse network data to predict load on individual radio units. These predictions allow the system to automatically switch radios to a low-power mode during periods of low usage. This AI-driven approach not only maximises power savings but also maintains the necessary network capacity for customers.

The ecosystem:

The development and implementation of the Green Radio algorithm involved collaboration within various teams at Telenor, including Telenor Research and network experts, particularly in Denmark. The project's success has led to its expansion to other markets, adapting to different network environments, such as in Bangladesh with Grameenphone. Telenor’s partnership with GSMA and its promotion of Green Radio at industry events highlight the project's influence and potential for broader industry adoption.

Responsible AI by design:

Telenor’s use of AI and data analytics for network management adheres to relevant data privacy regulations and corporate policies. Ensuring customer data privacy while using network logs for AI applications is a key aspect of such a project, aligning with global standards and best practices in data utilisation and privacy.