Smart Communications pioneers AI-Driven ‘Green Radio’ Network to slash energy use

The initiative not only reduced energy consumption and CO2 emissions but also led to substantial cost savings.
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Smart Communications has fully integrated an AI-based ‘green radio’ network solution across its wireless radio sites, marking a significant stride in eco-friendly innovation. This initiative not only reduced energy consumption and CO2 emissions but also led to substantial cost savings.

The deployment of intelligent and automated shutdowns, sleep modes, adaptive power to traffic consumption, and multilayer radio power optimization is the latest in a series of eco-conscious measures taken by Smart to mitigate its energy expenditures.

Launched nationwide in 2023, the AI-centric solution facilitates remote and automatic adjustments of capacity and power based on load conditions, which enables the company to consolidate and conserve radio resources.

The solution is also radio coverage sensitive, which maintains network availability and is scalable with increased usage. It also has a time-based activation capability, allowing Smart to choose which time to turn the solution on or off, based on the traffic trend.

“Smart’s nationwide network is supported with advance and intelligent functionalities maximizing operational efficiencies. Running the network constantly even when traffic is much lower, especially during evening hours, is costly and inefficient in the use of network resources. Our green radio innovation is proven to harness artificial intelligence to track activity on our network so that we can reduce the power consumption of our cell sites whenever they are not being fully utilized,” said Radames Zalameda, Head of Network Quality, PLDT and Smart.

“This means that certain elements of a cell site are turned off when demand is low but are automatically switched on when demand comes back. Combined with Smart’s Self-Organizing Network (SON), this also enables us to adjust the capacity of the cell sites as needed to support data traffic,” Zalameda added.

In the past year, the implementation of this green network innovation has led to a reduction in power consumption by approximately 10,900MWh*, which is equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions from more than 1,690 gasoline-powered vehicles driven for a year, or carbon dioxide emissions from electricity consumption of 920 homes for a year.

With a continued focus on enhancing energy efficiency, Smart is set to integrate predictive and machine-learning capabilities into its mobile network this year.

Supporting the PLDT Group’s decarbonization goals, which include a 40% reduction in Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, Smart’s parent company, PLDT, has recently procured a P1.0bn Green Loan facility from HSBC Philippines. This funding is earmarked for the ongoing modernization and expansion of the nationwide fiber network that underpins internet delivery platforms. The group is also actively pursuing the integration of renewable energy sources, green technologies, and various energy optimization initiatives.

As of the close of 2023, Smart’s mobile network reaches 97% of the Philippine populace. The network’s backbone is PLDT’s extensive fiber infrastructure, the most expansive in the country.

*Calculations based on the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator

Bryan is a geek at heart and a tech enthusiast by choice. He has a strong background in corporate communications, marketing services, and customer relations having worked in the telecommunications and banking sectors for over two decades. In his spare time, he enjoys watching clips on YouTube and binge watching shows on Netflix.

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