February 28, 2022
Following its announcement last week of a new suite of 5G RAN products, Ericsson emphasised its environmental ambitions above all else at Mobile World Congress 2022.
The Swedish kit vendor made its major MWC announcement prior to the show, which was a refresh of its 5G RAN portfolio with an emphasis on energy efficiency. The flagship dual-band FDD Radio 4490 is lighter and apparently consumes 25% less power than the unit it replaces, while Ericsson says its higher power version offers 50% more output than some equivalent radios.
At the Ericsson stand we sat down with Hannes Ekstrom, VP and Head of Strategy for Business Area Networks who told us that, while it has ambitious plans for more 5G rollout, its focus is on achieving that utopian future in an environmentally friendly way, and it intends to be net CO2 neutral in its own operations by 2030.
“Today we have 114 networks globally supported by Ericsson 5G. But of course, the maturity in those builds are varying,” said Ekstrom. “Some are extremely mature, then we have other geographies where we need to support our customers to build with scale. And that’s where the recent launch comes in. We’re saying that you can build a 5G network, modernise an existing site, get ten times the capacity, but reduce the footprint and energy consumption of that site. So it’s quite a quite a strong proposition that we have, because I think that these are the types of hurdles that that operators are seeing.
“We’re working upstream as well with our supply chain to work with innovative technologies from a sustainability perspective. But the majority of the energy consumption from an Ericsson company perspective are the products in use today so that becomes of course critical for us to address if we want to reach our targets.”
When asked how it feels to be back at MWC in person Ekstrom added: “I think COVID has taught us that a lot can be done remote. I mean, we’ve been launching products in the last two years as well and getting on with the message. However, I do think there is a pent-up demand right now to meet up, to touch the gear, or have more informal conversations around the developments of the industry.”
While Ericsson is keen demonstrate the technological advantages its new RAN kit provides, the thrust of the communication definitely seems to be all about how green the new kit is. We expect this combination of technological showcasing alongside a green message to be a key theme of MWC this year.
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