Innovative Low Energy Footprint Technology For Stable 5G Speed Wireless Access In Rural / Semi-Urban Areas
February 2023 Pantelis Trakas,
Senior Product Manager, Wireless Network Systems

aerial photo of residential area

Leveraging 45 years of experience and investing significantly in R&D, Intracom Telecom develops technologies that apply in wireless access systems. A key feature of the latest G5 technology is the significant reduction of the energy footprint while providing ultra-high connection speeds to subscribers. More specifically, the G5 technology reduces energy costs for the telecommunications provider by two orders of magnitude compared to competing wireless technologies widely used internationally.

image with the quote of WiBAS G5 that solution facilitates sustainable development of green networks by implementing innovative technologies leading to energy footprint reduction
The Challenge

The exponential worldwide increase in demand for fixed ultra-high speed connections has created major challenges for telecommunications providers, who must offer this good both within the urban fabric and in remote rural areas. Optical fiber networks that can offer ultra-high speeds (Ultra-Broadband) of the order of hundreds of Mbps or even Gbit/s to the end user are not suitable for access to semi-urban or rural areas, because it is economically unprofitable for providers to extend fiber to these regions. Fixed wireless access networks follow a similar architecture to mobile telephony, wirelessly covering remote areas with a cellular pattern around the Base Stations. End users have Terminal Stations in their homes, which ensure the broadband connection.

According to connectivity providers and governmental objectives, all subscribers should have access to a 1 Gigabit per second connection quite soon, some say this can be achieved by 2030. But the growing demand especially in wireless services has its toll, the increasing energy consumption and thus the carbon footprint of the specific sector. It has been estimated that the entire telecommunications sector represents approximately 1.5-2% of energy consumption in developed economies. Of this percentage, approximately 50-60% corresponds to the base stations of the networks in question.

How can we define a telecommunication solution "GREEN"? The reduction of energy consumption, the use of renewable energy sources and the strategy to reduce CO2 emissions are the main three pillars that must coexist in order for a network to be labeled "GREEN".

In addition to minimizing the overall energy footprint of wireless telecommunications, there is also a strong economic component, which mainly concerns carriers. More specifically, the high requirements for connection speeds with the end subscribers that we mentioned above, leads to denser and wider networks with an increase in the number of base stations. Coupled with steadily increasing energy prices, it is becoming apparent that energy consumption is a critical factor in the operating expenses (OPEX) of the telecommunications fixed wireless access network providers.

The Solution

Intracom Telecom has developed the WiBAS™ fixed wireless access (FWA) product family which now encompasses the G5 technology, which achieves ultra-high connection speeds and up to 11 kilometers range from the hub (Base Station). In addition, the system in question has the ability to support up to 960 users per base station. These two features alone drastically reduce the need for dense wireless networks. Therefore, there is a significant reduction in overall energy needs for providers who choose the WiBAS™ G5 solution for their subscribers.

The WiBAS™ G5 solution adequately responds to the aforementioned challenges for sustainable development of green networks by implementing innovative techniques and using inherent features that can lead to the reduction of the energy footprint. This is proven in practice by a radio coverage study, implemented in Italy in the province of Cremona. We chose this area with low population coverage (1000 inhabitants per km2), because it perfectly matches the areas targeted by Fixed Wireless Access Networks. The coverage area is 40 km2. Two wireless access technologies were compared. The WiBAS™ G5 solution and an alternative, which also uses millimeter frequency band (mmW). In Figure 1 we see the study with the WiBAS™ G5 solution achieving the coverage of the entire area with 3 base stations (cells). End users can access speeds in the order of Gigabit/s even at a distance of 3.9 km from the center of the cell.

image of WiBAS G5 with antenna

The fixed access alternative seen in Figure 2, to ensure full coverage in the same area and at the same speeds as WiBAS™ G5, should limit the radius of cells to 500 m. This translates into a need to deploy 64 base stations, a number that is about 20 times larger. This significant difference translates into a huge environmental burden, multiple energy consumption and increased total cost of ownership (TCO).

Image with a cluster from google mas
Figure 1
Image with a cluster from google mas
Figure 2