By Claus Hetting, Wi-Fi NOW CEO & Chairman
What can ISPs do to increase sustainability and reduce energy consumption of gateways and set-top boxes? A new white paper takes a detailed look at home LAN energy consumption reduction strategies for both the short and the long term. It also examines better use of the Cloud, Wi-Fi offload, and even delves into device manufacturing and refurbishment. This is by far the most comprehensive treatment of this subject we’ve seen. The paper is authored by CTOi Consulting and sponsored by Orange France, SoftAtHome, and others.
What can ISPs do to increase sustainability? A new paper by CTOi Consulting says home gateways and set-top boxes represent 10% of Orange France’s total carbon footprint while consuming 77% of their power in idle mode. This means managing home LAN power consumption should be a great way to reduce energy consumption for ISPs although currently only few solutions exist – and many more are required.
The paper says that creating better and more intelligent (‘smart’) sleep-modes for devices is critical while educating users to participate actively in reducing consumption is also part of a wider strategy. According to SoftAtHome – a Wi-Fi NOW partner – home LAN middleware could reduce power consumption by 10-20%. “The most effective way to address the remaining 80% will be with a new chipset and SoC architectures with improved support for low-power modes,” the report says.
The report also cites Wi-Fi offload as a source of reduced energy consumption because Wi-Fi networks are more energy efficient than mobile networks. As a consequence, moving mobile traffic from cellular networks to Wi-Fi results in significantly lower consumption. In the paper Orange confirms that Orange France’s mobile subscribers offload 70-80% of mobile traffic to Orange’s fixed (Wi-Fi) network in line with industry averages (US cableco Charter for example cites 80% offload for Spectrum Mobile subscribers), the report says.
As further opportunities for energy reduction the report also delves into architectural improvements – such as ‘the Greening of Streaming’ – and finding the best local or Cloud mix for processing and storage.
The report argues that the work-from-home trend reduces the need for travels and therefore also carbon emissions – and says that operators are in an excellent position to drive ecosystems towards better sustainability.
SoftAtHome is one of the pioneers of sustainable gateway technology – and the company’s power management solution has already been deployed with Orange France: Orange’s Livebox 6 – Europe’s first Wi-Fi 6E-capable gateway – incorporates power saving features and Orange France is actively using energy efficiency as a key selling point. Orange France says that the ‘light sleep mode’ reduces power consumption by 25% while ‘deep sleep’ cuts consumption by at least 85% (read more here).
“The journey towards sustainability begins with the smart application of software and open standards, fostering innovation and efficient use of resources. Wi-Fi has a major potential to lower power consumption. As a case in point, SoftAtHome can save 2 Watts on 25 million Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), resulting in an annual savings of 300 to 400 GWh – equivalent to the output of a coal power station,” says Lionel Gremeau, Product & Marketing Director at SoftAtHome.
The report is authored by Ben Schwarz of CTOi Consulting and sponsored by Orange, SoftAtHome, broadpeak, and Sagemcom. The white paper is available for download here and is highly recommended reading for any ISP or vendor interested in meeting sustainability targets.