South Korean mobile operator SK Telecom and Ericsson have developed Smart Wake-up, a technology that dynamically wakes up small cells when traffic enters the cell, improving operational efficiency and user experience.
Smart Wake-Up is a new technology to control the operation of idle base stations during late night and early morning. Through intelligent operation control, the base station will be turned off when no mobile phone is detected within the cell boundary, but if any device comes into the coverage then the base station will automatically sense it and reactivate itself.
With the support of Smart Wake-Up, a decreased number of active base stations will reduce interference between cells and therefore speed up the data transmission between base stations and devices.
Applying the technology, SK Telecom expects to save operating costs of base stations and enhance durability of networking equipment by mitigating power waste of inactive base stations while improving energy-efficiency of networks.
Energy-efficient network has been rising in importance along with environmental pollution and energy consumption and, accordingly, lively discussions concerning the issue are taking place globally, for example, in ‘Green Touch’, the global consortium for improving the energy efficiency of ICT, and 3GPP, a group for telecommunications technology standardization.
Also, energy efficient networking, as a core technology for the next generation mobile communications network, is one of the major agenda items in 5G network discussions including 5G Forum and 5GPPP.
In the recent tests of the technology, SK Telecom confirmed that use of Smart Wake-Up increased data throughput by 18% and reduced power consumption of the base station by 21%, while still providing seamless service by reactivating the cell if detected access by a terminal
Park Jin-hyo, senior Vice President and head of network technology R&D centre at SK Telecom, said: “Once commercialised, SK Telecom expects the Smart Wake-Up technology to substantially enhance efficiency in networking equipment operation by achieving both network quality improvement and energy saving.”
Thomas Norén, VP and head of radio product management at Ericsson, said: “Ericsson is pleased to cooperate with SK Telecom to maximise the customer experience; especially in today’s environment where the number of LTE subscribers and mobile data traffic is soaring fast. Together with SK Telecom, Ericsson will continue its efforts in technology development to improve the efficiency of network operation”.