Telenor Bulgaria’s Sustainable Approach Towards Energy Efficiency

Providing telecommunication services is associated with high consumption of electricity and diesel fuel. All through 2015, Telenor Bulgaria has significantly improved the energy efficiency of our network. Here’s how.

Last updated: Apr 2016

Climate change is one of the most complex challenges facing people, businesses and governments. Our technology and smart services have the potential to cut global carbon emissions, reduce resource intensity, stimulate economic growth and deliver substantial social benefits.

At the same time the mobile industry will risk continued growth in its total energy consumption and carbon footprint as mobile operators continue to increase their coverage, acquire more customers and develop more mobile broadband services due to market needs. Telenor’s key focus is therefore to stabilize energy consumption by improving the energy efficiency of its networks, as these represent around 80 per cent of total energy consumption.

All through 2015, Telenor Bulgaria has significantly improved the energy efficiency of its network. Here’s how.

SAM_4770To give power to more than 2500 sites in their network, Telenor Bulgaria uses three different sources: grid electricity, diesel generators or combined/hybrid solutions using solar panels with batteries and smaller diesel generators.

Early in 2015 Telenor Bulgaria’s Technology Division initiated an energy efficiency project aiming to improve significantly the energy consumption in the network and to start utilizing the technology opportunities the brand new network afforded.

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Optimisation Station

Within the energy efficiency program were numerous initiatives, which, from a high level perspective, can be split into two main groups.

1. Technology optimization

  • Implementing RAN energy efficiency features network wide
  • Change of equipment where relevant

2. Passive equipment optimization

  • Replacement of rectifiers with new and more efficient versions in our network renovation
  • Implementing smart control features in the passive equipment
  • Installing free cooling units on relevant sites
  • Increase site temperature (new equipment have higher tolerance levels)
  • Change out old air conditioners with new and effective versions

In addition to the above, Telenor Bulgaria drove initiatives towards its data centres. The hot aisle/cold aisle concept, for example, has been implemented, and rules around light in equipment rooms have been changed. Renewable energy implementation has also been in focus, and Telenor Bulgaria’s first site powered with only solar energy was put on air last year.

The results

Telenor Bulgaria’s reported consumption of grid-electricity for their network operations had an impressive drop of 25 % from 2014 to 2015 (from 63 GWh to 44 GWh).

Commenting on the initiative, Georg Svendsen, Network Implementation Director, said “With the energy efficiency program we have managed to significantly improve energy efficiency, improve the cost structure and reduce our carbon footprint.”