Aspire NetZero to cut energy costs for MNOs

12 September 2023

NEC Corporation has released Aspire NetZero, by NEC Aspire Technology Limited, an NEC subsidiary.

Aspire NetZero is an AI-enabled SaaS-based intelligent standalone energy reduction solution, designed to support MNOs in reducing unnecessary energy consumption in the Radio Access Network (RAN). The vendor-agnostic solution is adaptable to each mobile operator’s requirements while supporting 3G, 4G, and 5G.

GSMA Intelligence calculated that, on average, mobile RAN is responsible for 73% of an MNO’s total energy consumption. Energy is usually the third biggest cost after site rentals and labour, and energy costs have increased from two-fold to eight-fold in the past year. The growth of 5G is also weighing heavily on MNO energy bills. GSMA Intelligence estimates that even in a best-case scenario, mobile networks are on course to almost double their power consumption between 2020-2025, thanks to 5G growth.

The power-saving features developed by different RAN equipment vendors for the various radio access technologies are generally static and not optimized for fluctuating traffic profiles. Aspire NetZero leverages AI to autonomously analyse and predict network traffic patterns enabling operators to adjust resources to required capacity and performance, resulting in considerable power usage reductions. The solution automatically configures and orchestrates vendor features to continuously provide maximum savings and ensure the best end-user experience.

Aspire NetZero is designed to support hybrid-powered sites and to maximize battery run-time during off-grid periods, thus extending mobile service availability. The solution can realise at least a three-fold energy savings compared to standard energy reduction vendor features. These savings are increased up to ten times, depending on traffic behaviour and network topology.

“5G is putting a lot of pressure on energy consumption for operators, especially while they keep 2G, 3G, and 4G networks running,” said Declan Friel, CTO, NEC Aspire Technology. “Our AI-powered, multi-vendor application learns traffic behaviour and continuously takes action in a fully automated closed loop, without any manual intervention. The solution is live and delivering OPEX savings to operators globally, and we are now extending that footprint together with NEC.”

Network operators can establish an estimation of their potential savings (in kWh and OPEX) with Aspire NetZero by using an online calculator.