A convergence of geopolitical tensions and climate change concerns are ramping up the pressure for operators to become more efficient in everything they do and wherever they do it—from network cores to datacentres and beyond.
According to the 2022 Climate Action Survey Report by Telecoms.com, the reduction of energy consumption was recently flagged as telcos’ most urgent operational challenge, 64% of respondents.
Across the world, thoughts of service consolidation and alternative, modern deployment models are clearly gaining traction throughout the industry as decision-makers search for ways to improve efficiency with minimal disruption and incremental cost.
Indeed, in Heavy Reading’s 2023 5G global survey of network strategists, respondents’ top approach to reducing power consumption focused on moving as many functions as possible to a common infrastructure platform, 52%. This was followed by reducing infrastructure footprints and increasing power efficiency with edge computing, 45%, and consolidating functions and vendors for tighter energy management and cost efficiency, 40%.
Disaggregation and multi-vendor by nature introduces some inefficiencies, so thinking about how to address this is clearly important. Consolidating core workloads onto a common cloud platform appears to be the most consequential move operators can make to reduce energy consumption in the 5G mobile core.
However, the overall spread in responses indicates that operators will combine multiple approaches in their power reduction strategy.
In other recent study, Capgemini’s Research Institute Report, Networks on Cloud: A Clear Advantage, claims that almost half of telecom networks’ capacity will be totally cloud-native in the next three to five years.
The report also indicates that operators will spend $206 million annually on that cloud transformation over the next five years. Organisations getting in early on a shift to cloud-native are likely to realise the most value in terms of economics and environmental sustainability. For the latter, the research suggests that those embracing telco cloud are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5% in the next three to five years.
Telco cloud is also set to yield sustainability benefits from lower facility emissions, example, reduced physical hardware footprints, less power usage, auto-scaling of network on demand, and managing mobile towers’ power consumption using AI and machine learning.
This is why Cloud-Native Functions, CNF will increasingly come into play. Or at least they should! CNFs are software-implementations of a function, or application, traditionally performed on a physical device.
Purpose-built for moving workloads to cloud-native architectures, the technology can eliminate telcos’ heavy legacy virtualisation software layers, as well as automate and orchestrate operations for maximum efficiency. All while scaling their networks.
“By curbing complexity, consolidation can enable telcos to take full advantage of the flexibility, scalability and portability of 5G CNFs, the key advantages over running the same functions on dedicated hardware or virtual network functions, VNFs,” says Alix Leconte, VP for Service Providers, EMEA at F5.Click below to share this article