Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Alcatel-Lucent Reduces Base Station Power

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week Alcatel-Lucent announced a new feature of its GSM/EDGE base stations that can reduce power consumption by up to 27%.

Called Dynamic Power Save (DPS), it works by the base station monitoring traffic activity on the network and when there is no information to transmit, even for very short periods of time, the power amplifier in the GSM transceiver is switched off. Because of the sensitivity of the monitoring techniques it not only works at night, when calling volumes are naturally lower, but also during busy times.

There's no increases in call blocking or reduction in packet data throughput so the service quality remains high. And because this is a software upgrade the enhancement can be installed on all Alcatel-Lucent multi-standard base stations deployed since 1999 - some 500,000 stations.

The power reductions were demonstrated in January through field trials with China Mobile. On average, a 24% power saving was achieved.

It sounds an impressive and simple way for mobile companies to save money and help save the planet. Benoit de Corn, who leads Alcatel-Lucent’s GSM/EDGE activities, certainly thinks so; “No other wireless equipment vendor in the industry can boast such an impressive power consumption profile".

Ericsson's Tower Tube design for base stations combined with a vertical turbine looks even better - the design itself reduces energy by 40%, as we reported last year. But of course its only for new base stations.

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