Energy-saving communication infrastructures

Hub 2: Energy-saving communication infrastructures

It is impossible to imagine social and economic life without robust communications networks. Wireless communications technology is of particular importance, without which the progress of digitization is not feasible. It is necessary to put this development on a resource-conserving and energy-saving basis to analyze the ecological impact of the telecommunications infrastructure of wireless radio networks and optical aggregation and transport networks. In this hub, test environments are provided with the help of which industrial providers can professionally evaluate the ecological balance and optimize it in a targeted manner. The circle of potentially interested parties ranges from network operators and system equipment suppliers to individual hardware and software-related component manufacturers with high demand for customized, low-resource, and reliable 5G and 6G communication solutions.

These companies already use the Green ICT network

User groups from Hub 2:

Video presentation of the hubs (only available in German)

Info poster (only available in German)

Infoposter zur Validierung des grünen Potentials Ihrer Anwendung in der Kommunikationsinfrastruktur
Infoposter zur Relevanz von grüneren Technologien für die Digitalisierung, besonders zum Energiebedarf der Telekommunikationsnetze
Infoposter zu den Arbeitspaketen im Hub "Energiesparende Kommunikationsinfrastrukturen"

Energy saving in mobile communications infrastructure shall implement national and European agendas such as the BMBF's action plan "Naturally. Digital. Sustainable" and the EU Commission's "European Green Deal." The hub's goal of providing German and European industry with a development, test, and reference environment also includes the objective of technology sovereignty anchored in the funding policy goals. This will ensure energy- and resource-saving, technically reliable, and data-secure operation of future telecommunications and industrial network infrastructures.

Evaluate the complete chain of system modules

The ecological balance always has to be considered within the overall system. Since the functional groups in a communications network are technically interdependent, this hub will involve the complete chain of system building blocks, from the high-frequency components in the radio and base station through the various interconnection networks to the protocol level. It is crucial that the hub also depicts the different development stages since the technical state of the art is evolving rapidly, and it still needs to be clarified how the full functionality required in 5G/6G can be technically realized. Due to its high complexity, an LCA of this kind can rarely be carried out by one market participant alone. The hub will, therefore, play a decisive role in analyzing and optimizing the energy consumption of wireless networks, as it will provide unrestricted access to the existing structures of the application-oriented research institutes.

Work packages

1) Hub-Coordination
  • Hub coordination internally and externally (hub project management)
  • Interface with FMD
2) 5G-testbed
More info

This work package aims to provide a natural test environment for evaluating energy consumption in 5th and 6th-generation mobile networks and to test protocol-based energy-saving methods in practice. The test environment on one hand includes the 5G test site of the 5G Berlin Association at the TU Berlin campus for the main testing of 5G technologies and, on the other hand, an emulated mobile radio environment in the laboratory of the HHI for the investigation of future 6G components. The test environment enables the evaluation of hardware and software at the level of network elements (e.g., radio unit) or subsystems (e.g., beamforming antenna) via standardized interfaces.

3) X-Haul wireless
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For 5G and 6G scenarios, the energetic assessment of new types of wireless link sceneries and hardware is crucial since only these new types of frequencies can solve the bandwidth requirements of the future. At the same time, there are enormous needs here to evaluate sustainable use in real-world applications. The input parameters of the LCA are largely unknown and are to be elaborated across the board as well as based on customer-specific scenarios.

4) X-Haul optical
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New optical transmission systems, currently standardized by ETSI-F5G (5th Generation Fixed Networks), enable energy savings of 20% according to the standard. The work described in this work package (WP) creates the technical conditions for developing service offerings to the industry to increase the energy-saving potential. The aim is to allow industrial customers to characterize their system solutions and electro-optical technologies in terms of energy consumption in static network operation and to be able to optimize them for load-adaptive network operation (approx. 30 % energy savings potential) end-to-end, meaning, e.g., also in combination with the 5G radio infrastructure of the 5G Berlin Association. In addition, industrial customers will be allowed to evaluate the energy-saving potential of new technologies such as LiFi or RoF at the network, system, component, and protocol level.

5) Network planning and life cycle assessment (LCA)
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The service offerings elaborated in this WP aim to enable network operators, system suppliers, and component manufacturers to minimize energy and resource requirements by load-adaptive system control. For this purpose, the positive and negative effects of dynamic network planning on hardware and software levels have to be identified, measured, or simulated. Methods for accurate predictive estimation of energy savings in wireless and optical communications must be developed. Life cycle assessment will be used in this context to quantify the holistic effects, including reliability and component lifetime. The competencies provided here interface directly with the other WPs, particularly the testbeds and hardware-related service offerings.

-> More Info about the validation projects