O2 uses fresh air cooling and power management software to reduce the amount of electricity consumed and improve the efficiency of its network as the demand for data increases.
Rising data usage by mobile users is a long-term trend that will be accelerated by the relaxation of lockdown restrictions and the rollout of 5G networks that will power data-intensive applications.
In the first week of May 2021 alone, O2 reported a 55% increase in year-over-year data demand as customers took advantage of the opportunity to visit non-essential retailers and dine at outdoors, and spent more time using their mobile connection rather than their home Wi-Fi network.
O2 carbon emissions
This surge means that the core O2 network is processing more data and increasing the amount of energy expended to keep data center equipment cool.
Smart O2 cooling technology uses natural air to regulate the temperature of its equipment rather than traditional air conditioning. This approach not only reduces energy consumption, but also O2’s dependence on polluting refrigerant gases.
This technology is continued in conjunction with Ekkosense’s management software, which uses sensors to monitor the level of cooling each site needs based on user demand, further increasing efficiency.
O2 has already modernized 70% of its core network sites, allowing energy savings of between 15% and 20% at each site. In total, the operator estimates that it can save 1 million kilograms of CO2 emissions each year.
“Our number one priority is to keep customers connected, but it cannot be done at the expense of the environment,” said Tracey Herald, head of corporate responsibility and sustainability at O2.
O2 has made sustainability a key priority over the past decade, investing £ 400million in renewable energy sources, implementing flexible working practices and taking action to reduce the amount of electronic waste as part of a commitment to be net zero by 2025.
Its network is now 82% more efficient than it was in 2015, a propulsion not only good for the environment but also for operating expenses, because electricity is one of the highest bills. important for mobile phone operators.