Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ericsson Outlines TCO2 Framework for Energy Efficiency

Two-thirds of all CO2e emissions associated with network equipment during its lifetime are attributed to its operation, according to a recently published whitepaper from Ericsson.

To help operators who are being challenged to respond to growing carbon emissions concerns, volatile fuel prices and potential added costs such as carbon taxes, Ericsson is now offering a TCO2 approach that measures carbon emissions and uses the total-cost-of-ownership methodology. During 2009, Telstra worked with Ericsson on this approach during a nationwide carbon and energy audit of its wireless network.

Ericsson said telecom operators can use its TCO2 methodology in network operations to evaluate carbon emission
and energy consumption savings from different solutions and network scenarios.

In its whitepaper, Ericsson observes that networks worldwide are expanding to serve more subscribers and increasing traffic per subscriber. The ICT sector is estimated to account for about 2 percent of global energy use and subsequent carbon emissions (with telecom representing just 0.6 percent). Nevertheless, the absolute amount of energy consumed by telecom networks is growing -- along with associated CO2e emissions.

However, the carbon intensity of the network traffic is lower than the activities the traffic replaces (such as video conferencing replacing travel). One approach is to increase energy efficiency in driving additional traffic so the carbon intensity differential between that traffic and the activities it replaces is as great as possible.

Ericsson TCO2 also provides a framework for evaluating two or more network architecture choices for their overall energy efficiency. The approach applies to both greenfield and existing networks.

The whitepaper is posted online.