Three goes green with Ericsson’s AI

04 July 2024

Three UK has hit a new milestone in its network sustainability journey with the deployment of next-generation AI-powered hardware and software solutions from Ericsson.

As part of an ongoing network modernisation initiative over the last 18 months, Three UK has worked with Ericsson on improving network energy performance thanks to a combination of industry leading energy efficient radios and the use of AI and data analytics.

Late in 2023, Three UK became one of the first major operators in the UK to deploy Ericsson’s award-winning dual-band Radio 4490, which consumes less power and is 25% lighter than previous models, simplifying site access and speeding up site upgrades.

Combined with the deployment of more energy efficient radios, Three UK has also implemented a series of software features that consume less power per radio during low traffic hours. Thanks to advanced machine learning, passive cooling and power-saving features, the new generation of radio works autonomously across 4G and 5G networks to switch off radio components when not active, while having the capability to switch on again in microseconds for the next service request.
So far, the partnership between Three UK and Ericsson has resulted in an improvement of network energy efficiency of up to 70% at selected sites, all completed while improving network performance but reducing site footprint and lowering CO2 emissions.

“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,” said Iain Milligan, chief network officer, Three UK.

“Together with Three UK, we are redefining the network of the future and making it both smarter and more energy efficient. To increase network availability and performance while reducing network energy consumption is a testament to the technology and expertise of our two great teams. I am both excited and proud to know that we are building a modern digital infrastructure together that brings not only superior performance for Three customers, but also helps to make the future more promising and sustainable,” said Evangelia Tzifa, chief technology officer, networks & managed services, Ericsson UK and Ireland.