There is a growing urgency in the telecom industry to reduce energy consumption by adopting sustainable and environment-friendly practices.
The recent United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report says that the world will experience an increase in temperature of more than 1.5°C by 2040 unless and until there is a concerted effort to bring down carbon emissions.
Turkcell, a converged telecom and technology service provider in Türkiye since 1994, is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and becoming a carbon-neutral company by 2050. The rising electricity costs are also making it imperative for the company to bring down its energy use.
“Turkcell is keenly focused on sustainability goals and environmental responsibility. Our strategy involves implementing best practices and policies that minimize the impact on the environment, such as reducing waste and emissions, conserving resources and using renewable energy. Within the framework of our sustainability approach, Turkcell commits to meet 100% of its energy needs from renewable resources by 2030, and to be a completely carbon neutral company by 2050. In order to achieve these goals, Turkcell is the first GSM operator that has ISO 50001 Energy Management System and ISO 14064 international standard for quantifying and reporting greenhouse gas emissions certificates in Turkey.” Elif Yenihan Kaya, Network Capabilities Director, Turkcell.
Teaming with Huawei
To accelerate its efforts to realize the target of carbon neutrality by 2050, Turkcell teamed up with Huawei earlier this year. Together the two companies incubated Huawei’s Green Site solution in Antalya. The project was designed not just to help Turkcell reduce the environmental impact but also to bring down its electricity costs.
In April 2022, Turkcell and Huawei jointly incubated the Green Site target network solution, designed to benefit the operator and the environment. Huawei’s Green Site solution is based on the philosophy of ‘More Bits, Less Watts’. First, it helps the Turkcell reduce power consumption, thus directly leading to savings in operational expenses. Further, the improved energy efficiency supports the migration of 2G and 3G users to 4G and 5G services. Lastly, the telcos’ efforts to reduce their carbon footprint positively impact the environment, helping them better fulfil their social responsibilities.
“We decided to work on the mutual project for green sites with Huawei. In April 2022, based on our assessment and design, Turkcell and Huawei implemented the first AI-based green site solution in Antalya. Basically, solar panels provide green energy for the site. What’s more, the AI-based smart system manages excess solar energy generated by sunlight into the lithium batteries and supplies power to the site at night, thus maximizing the use of clean energy generated by sunlight. Solar energy accounts for more than 70% of the site’s energy consumption, reducing carbon emissions and saving electricity costs. The energy saving and carbon reduction effect of a single site exceeded our expectations. ” says Elif Yenihan Kaya.
Huawei has introduced a three-layer solution to help Turkcell boost the green efficiency of their networks and operations. This solution is designed to ensure a carbon emission and OPEX reduction.
Industry first-released NCIe indicators to measure the carbon emission intensity of the entire network
Huawei’s Green site solution provides NCIe (Network Carbon Emission Intensity), an energy efficiency indicator system proposed by Huawei and already approved by ITU-T SG5. It encompasses three layers: Radio Access Network (RAN), the site, and the equipment (BBU/RRU/antenna). The carbon emission per unit traffic is measured and tracked to evaluate how much data traffic is transported per kWh.
Comprehensive solutions to minimize the carbon emission and energy costs
Huawei Green Site solution helps bring down the operational expense for the Turkcell. It is a simplified, renewable and intelligent solution.
The all-in-one cabinet replaces the traditional shelter, thus bringing down the high energy consumption of the air conditioners and improving the site energy efficiency. Further, blade power guarantees enough space for future evolution.
The solution uses solar energy, which provides enough renewable energy sources for daily consumption. Further, anti-shadow helps in generating 10% extra electricity. Huawei’s Green site solution leverages Artificial Intelligence (AI) which provides greater visibility and control, thus leading to improved overall management. The use of AI makes it possible to calculate backup hours based on weather, thus enabling solar synergy with lithium battery to avoid peak solar waste.
Professional service to improve return on investment
Firstly, multi-dimensional evaluation service-based NCIe indicators enable the implementation of low carbon RAN strategy and focus investment in areas with the most “green” impact. Secondly, the optimal solution is simulated, and benefits are calculated through the digital design platform. Finally, the operators must use the solution for the green modernization of the entire network to maximize the impact.
In Antalya, Turkcell uses Huawei’s end-to-end Green Site solution, a high-efficiency iSolar system with AI that stores renewable energy from the sun in lithium batteries. In addition, high-efficiency rectifiers, lithium batteries, and integrated cabinets are used to migrate equipment to the outdoor cabinet, eliminating the need for shelter and an air-conditioner.
Impact of Green Site solution
Using Huawei’s Green Site solution helped Turkcell reach its energy saving by 81%, while carbon emissions were reduced by 5.5 tons per year. The project’s success can be gauged by the fact that, on average, 70% of its daily energy consumption is from solar energy.
The two-year project involves 50 teams for the first-time delivery in Turkey. The end-to-end innovative solution sets a new benchmark for a green revolution in the country. Turkcell and Huawei have committed to creating more value through further cooperation.
“We have decided to enhance our partnership with Huawei in this project and we are planning to have 500 green sites implementation in 2022. We are expecting to have carbon emissions reduced by more than 1.3tons per site per year. Turkcell will continue to innovate in green energy and set an example for the industry.” says Elif Yenihan Kaya.
Ensuring sustainable operations is the need of the hour, and Turkcell and Huawei have set an example for other telcos to emulate and adopt sustainable practices.