Ericsson has confirmed its network IP edge and metro platforms deliver the industry's lowest energy consumption based on new metrics that measure how efficiently they can provide subscriber services, such as residential Triple Play. The new metrics, which go beyond how much power a platform or port consumes, are more in line with how service providers monetize their business and plan infrastructure investments.
With energy usage accounting for up to 50 percent of an operator's operating expenses, energy costs continuing to rise, and IP technology delivering new bandwidth-intensive services to an ever-growing number of fixed and mobile subscribers, service providers need greater insight into how specific platforms use energy and where to find efficiencies without impacting service. Since the IP edge and metro Ethernet platforms are responsible for aligning, shaping and monitoring subscriber traffic and the circuits that deliver that traffic, they are the logical hot spots for service providers to target.
Based on the functions performed by each platform, Ericsson's new metrics provide practical views into energy efficiency, mapping energy usage granularly by subscriber and circuit. The new metrics are the latest sustainability effort from Ericsson, which in 2008 committed to providing up to a 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions per subscriber across its product portfolio within five years. In addition to the focus on the IP edge and metro Ethernet, Ericsson has reported significant reductions in energy usage for its WCDMA radio base stations (an 80 percent improvement in energy efficiency from 2001 to 2008), for its mobile softswitch solution (60 percent more efficiency per subscriber), and for site power management.
Iometrix, a well-known network testing authority, was commissioned to test and verify the results of the SmartEdge Multi Service Edge Router and SM 480 metro Ethernet platform using the new metrics. Iometrix reported both platforms became more efficient the higher the subscriber or circuit load.
For the IP edge, Iometrix tested the power needed to deliver multimedia-enabled subscriber services for varying subscriber traffic loads of up to 256,000 subscribers. The SmartEdge consumed 5.16 milliwatts per subscriber at the 256,000 level. According to Ericsson, this represents a 53-280 percent power savings per subscriber as derived from publically available competitive data. For the metro, Iometrix evaluated the watts per circuit for point to point Ethernet-Line services as well as the watts per circuit for multipoint Ethernet-LAN services. The SM 480 consumed 5.375 milliwatts per circuit per Virtual Leased Line (VLL) at the 256,000 level. According to Ericsson, this represents a 60-80 percent power savings per circuit as derived from publically available competitive data.
"Power consumption at the edge and metro has always been important to carriers and a critical factor in OpEx," said Glen Hunt, principal analyst at Current Analysis. "As the leading provider of telecom equipment and services, Ericsson is leading the way in providing more relevant and practical metrics for determining the efficiency of carrier IP networking equipment. This is particularly important as carriers transform their infrastructure to IP and next generation service delivery. We welcome Ericsson's approach and anticipate strong traction from the carrier community and recognized standards bodies."
The Iometrix test results are in line with the Telecommunications Energy Efficiency Ratio (TEER) methodology and standards set by ATIS, an industry standards body providing technical and operations standards for information, entertainment and communications technologies. As a member of ATIS, Ericsson has supported the creation of energy efficiency standard measurement methods and metrics. The TEER calculation for the Ericsson SmartEdge for 256,000 subscribers is 196 subscribers per watt (5.0 milliwatts per subscriber). The TEER calculation for the Ericsson SM 480 is 193 circuits per watt (5.2 milliwatts per circuit).
"IP Edge and metro Ethernet networks are measured in large part by subscriber and circuit densities and the efficiency with which services can be created and delivered," said Simon Williams, SVP Strategy, Products, Marketing for Ericsson Packet Networks. "Metrics that build linkages between service creation and energy consumption are inherently more pragmatic in helping carriers optimize their networks for maximum service delivery and efficiency."