Vodafone trials self-powered data masts26 November 2021

Vodafone has developed self-powered mobile towers and will deploy these across the UK.

The Eco-Towers will also enable the deployment of new mobile sites in the most remote locations, without the major challenge and cost of connecting to the electricity grid.

For the last two years, Vodafone and Crossflow Energy have been collaborating on the development of Crossflow Energy’s wind turbine technology, combined with solar and battery technologies, to create a self-powered mobile network tower. Vodafone, alongside network partner Cornerstone, will now run a proof of concept to install Crossflow Turbine technology on rural mobile sites.

Vodafone is working with industry partners to expand mobile coverage to reach 95% of the UK landmass by 2025 and achieving net zero carbon emissions for its own operations in the UK by 2027. Adoption of innovative technologies like the self-powered site are essential to meeting both of these bold ambitions.

As well as reducing Vodafone’s energy consumption, self-powered sites remove the need to connect to the electricity grid, overcoming what can be an insurmountable civil engineering challenge when building new sites in the most rural parts of the UK.

In other news, in April, Vodafone and Ericsson began a trial using drones and Lidar-based 3D technology. With drones collecting high-definition imagery and Lidar technology collecting data to help build 3D digital twin model, only specialist operators need to travel to sites for surveys. With the imagery and 3D digital twin, radio engineers and network design teams can work in a virtual environment, saving time and money, speeding up network deployment across the UK, while also helping Vodafone reduce its carbon footprint.

In September, Vodafone announced it would begin to deploy a new 5G radio unit which was 43% more energy efficient than the legacy equivalent. The new radio will help decrease forecasted energy consumption of the future 5G network once deployed.

Vodafone confirmed earlier this year that all energy powering its European networks would be from solar and wind sources. The company has a target of achieving net zero on its own carbon emissions in the UK by 2027.

Operations Engineer

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