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Ericsson Energy-Smart 5G Site

Redefining the best network with intelligent nanogrid solutions


Case study: Ericsson Energy-Smart 5G Site

With increasing data traffic, network energy consumption and cost, Ericsson’s Energy-Smart 5G Site establishes a new model for cell sites. A major step towards achieving Net Zero emission and redefining the ‘best network’ as high-performing, energy-efficient and sustainable.


Ericsson introduces the Energy-Smart 5G Site: an intelligent, sustainable nanogrid solution that transforms how the mobile industry uses energy. The Energy-Smart 5G Site optimizes radio access network (RAN) energy consumption while orchestrating the use of multiple energy sources at the site including grid, renewables and lithium-ion batteries.


More than 76 percent[1] of a communications service provider’s (CSP) energy use comes from RAN equipment, while more than 90 percent of operational emissions for a CSP are attributed to the energy used to run the network. Rising energy prices contribute to spiraling operational expenses (opex) for CSPs. Reducing site energy consumption, emissions and ensuring reliability is a challenge faced by CSPs across their entire network from urban to rural sites. A modular and scalable site solution is needed.


By bringing together a range of intelligent, energy-efficient innovations, Ericsson’s Energy-Smart 5G Site enables CSPs to meet rising demand for reliable, higher-speed, higher-capacity 5G communications—while conserving energy and reducing emissions to meet Net Zero goals.

“We’re thrilled to announce this smart-sustainable 5G site, which serves as a tangible proof point of Ericsson’s leading position in building sustainable mobile networks. Service providers can now utilize untapped assets, thanks to this technology, creating new energy cost savings opportunities.”

Kevin Zvokel, Senior Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson North America

The challenge

Reducing energy consumption

Cell sites require energy, and that energy must come from somewhere. Reducing site energy consumption, emissions and ensuring reliability is a challenge faced by CSPs across their entire network from urban to rural sites. In urban and suburban areas, the utility grid powers cell sites. In regions where grid electricity is unreliable or unavailable, cell sites typically depend on fossil fuel-based generators.

Controlling OpEx

Energy consumption is not only a sustainability issue; it’s an OpEx issue, too. GSMA Intelligence reports that energy represents between 15 and 20 percent of service providers’ OpEx and is forecast to increase in the coming years.[2] Ninety-two percent of the providers surveyed by GSMA Intelligence in 2021 see sustainability and energy efficiency as very or extremely important to their network transformation strategy.[3]

Preparing for extreme weather events

Another rising concern is assuring continuity of service in a world with record-breaking extreme weather events like hurricanes, wildfires, hot/cold waves and heavy precipitation. Building resilience into our networks is critical.

5g smart site

The solution

Ericsson created a comprehensive solution to optimize RAN energy consumption while orchestrating the use of multiple energy sources at the site including grid, renewables and lithium-ion batteries. After introducing our Energy-Smart 5G Site in Dittenheim, Germany, we unveiled the first US deployment in July 2023 at Ericsson’s Plano, Texas campus.

Ericsson’s site solutions intelligently controls and coordinates renewable energy sources and storage solutions seamlessly with the grid, utilizing cutting-edge hybrid management techniques. On-site solar and energy storage systems ensure clean power and increased resiliency for mobile network sites that are at the greatest risk of grid outages.

The site provides advanced capabilities such as load shifting, peak shaving and demand response. The site can also utilize batteries more effectively when electricity rates are high and can recharge the batteries when electricity rates are lower. This dynamic strategy allows for multiple daily cycles, ensuring cost efficiencies by taking advantage of the most favorable electricity prices.

This innovation is well positioned to help transform how the mobile industry uses energy, through an end-to-end system that increases network capacity while reducing carbon emissions, boosting network energy efficiency, decreasing opex and opening up additional revenue opportunities.

Key products and solutions in this case include:

Massive MIMO AIR 6419 and 6449

is part of the Capacity category of Ericsson’s Massive MIMO portfolio providing superior performance in all deployments ranging from dense urban high-rise to rural.

RAN Processor 6651

is developed for 4G and 5G high-capacity sites and is the natural choice for sites with 5G mid-band and 5G high-band implementations.

Enclosure 6160

comprises of a Solar Shelf 6670, lithium-ion batteries 6612 and Controller 6610 for hybrid energy operation and control.

5g smart site

The results

Hybrid power operation (Grid and lithium-ion batteries and solar)

Hybrid operation results in 36 percent or greater reduction in the site's electricity expenses. In addition, there was a 36 percent reduction in associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Load shifting (Grid and lithium-ion batteries)

For two hours over a 24-hour period, the system was disconnected from the grid and ran on batteries during peak tariff time. By decreasing grid dependency, the system saves opex and reduces GHG emissions.

Peak shaving (Grid and lithium-ion batteries)

Demand charges can contribute from 30 percent to as much as 70 percent of a customer’s electric bill. The Energy-Smart 5G Site’s batteries support an extra 58 percent of the power demand during peak periods, providing substantial savings on electricity costs.

Nanogrid (Grid and lithium-ion batteries and solar)

Operation as a nanogrid with solar and battery resources enables disconnection from the grid for 46 percent of the time, alleviating grid overload. Eliminating the need for backup diesel generators helps reduce carbon emissions.

Ericsson Energy-Smart 5G Site

The proven solution for a more sustainable and efficient network

The Ericsson Energy-Smart 5G Site is no longer a proof-of-concept; it’s a pre-tested, verified end-to-end solution to multiple challenges for service providers. By intelligently orchestrating multiple energy sources and storage technologies, a service provider can reduce opex related to energy costs, improve resiliency and reach Net Zero goals more quickly—and then tap future revenue streams in collaboration with utility companies.

Service providers now have a flexible solution that can be adapted for each location and customized to their and their customers´ needs. Few new technologies offer such a win-win advantage. High-performing, energy-efficient and sustainable, the Ericsson Energy-Smart 5G Site and Intelligent Nanogrid Solution is helping Ericsson redefine the ‘best network.’

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