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Nokia’s liquid-cooled 5G base station cuts CO2 emissions by 80%

(Image credit: Nokia)

 Some reports estimate that the CO2 emissions within the information and communications technology (ICT) sector could jump from 3% of all emissions currently, to 14% by 2040. However, some companies are now designing and building components with dramatically increased efficiency in mind, and Nokia’s liquid-cooled base station is one such device.

Continuing a long-standing relationship with Finnish mobile operator, Elisa, Nokia has announced that its liquid cooling 5G AirScale Base Station solution has helped reduce the energy expenses of its base station by 30 percent, and CO2 emissions by approximately 80 percent. 

Driving sustainability

“Innovations such as Nokia’s liquid cooling 5G base station demonstrate how 5G can help drive sustainability.”

Sami Komulainen, Elisa.

According to Nokia, this is the first time that a commercial 5G liquid cooling solution has been deployed anywhere in the world, and it highlights the company’s commitment to sustainability, and the global climate change movement.

“Elisa has set a clear target to be carbon neutral at the end of 2020. We also want to maintain our 5G leadership and continue to be amongst the top operators in the world to offer the wide benefits of this new technology to our customers,” said Sami Komulainen, Executive Vice President of Production at Elisa. “Innovations such as Nokia’s liquid cooling 5G base station demonstrate how 5G can help drive sustainability.”  

The new set-up will enable Elisa to achieve 30 percent lower power consumption at its site in Helsinki, Finland. And with approximately 90 percent of energy consumed by base stations being converted to waste heat, with the ability to re-use that heat, Elisa has been able to reduce its CO2 emissions by approximately 80 percent.

"Now we have demonstrated the world’s first liquid-cooled AirScale 5G base station in commercial operations, making liquid cooling a reality for all network generations."

“Our greatest contribution to overcoming the world’s sustainability challenges is through the solutions and technology we develop and provide,” said Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia. “Nokia was first to introduce a liquid-cooled base station with the 2G, 3G and 4G base stations with Elisa in Finland. Now we have demonstrated the world’s first liquid-cooled AirScale 5G base station in commercial operations, making liquid cooling a reality for all network generations. This innovative solution supports operators in their quest to be more environmentally responsible while allowing them to achieve significant cost savings.”

Liquid-cooled devices are more compact, and are able to run in more confined areas, thus opening more opportunities for operators where space is an issue. And with Nokia delivering zero-emission products to over 150 customers worldwide, it remains committed to decreasing emissions from its operations by 41 percent by 2030. 

And despite the energy consumption of network operators expected to increase with the roll-out of 5G, there are a number of environmental benefits to 5G that experts believe will offset any increased in energy consumption at the point of delivery.

Dan is a British journalist with 20 years of experience in the design and tech sectors, producing content for the likes of Microsoft, Adobe, Dell and The Sunday Times. In 2012 he helped launch the world's number one design blog, Creative Bloq. Dan is now editor-in-chief at 5Gradar, where he oversees news, insight and reviews, providing an invaluable resource for anyone looking to stay up-to-date with the key issues facing 5G.