07/03/2022 – Sustainability / Nokia / Liquid Cooling / Radio Networks / MWC / 5G / Base Station

Nokia’s launches first-of-its-kind Liquid Cooling tech to make radio networks more sustainable
Nokia’s launches first-of-its-kind Liquid Cooling tech to make radio networks more sustainable

Nokia has added Liquid Cooling tech to its latest AirScale Base Station portfolio, outlining its commitment to sustainability. Announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, the new commercial launch underlines Nokia's ambition to help combat climate change by making radio networks more sustainable.


Nokia’s first-of-its-kind solution is designed to make radio networks more sustainable and cost-efficient by reducing the energy required to cool a base station. 

Cooling system energy consumption can be reduced up to 90 per cent and base station CO2 emissions up to 80 per cent compared to traditional active air-cooling systems. 

The move supports Nokia's ambitions to have the most energy-efficient, zero-emission 5G product portfolio in the industry. Commercial products will be available from Q3 2022. 

Nokia also announced that AT&T is piloting the solution in a live network trial in Philadelphia, US.

Slashing base station emissions by up to 80%


Nokia’s liquid-cooled AirScale baseband solution can accommodate any liquid-cooled common or capacity plug-in unit, and supports all radio access technologies from 2G to 5G. It supports the reduction of base station-related CO2 emissions by up to 80 per cent. 

Nokia’s Liquid Cooling solution is also almost completely silent and maintenance-free making it ideal for apartment buildings, whereas more traditional air-cooling systems are typically noisy and require regular maintenance. 

Liquid is much more efficient in the transmission and transfer of heat. Nokia’s solution carries the captured waste heat produced by the base station during operation. This can then be circulated and reused for other purposes – for example, it can be redirected to a building’s heating system for free, at a price, or even traded. 


Decarbonising through digitalisation

Nokia is committed to leading decarbonisation of the telecommunications industry and helping other industries and communities to decarbonise and dematerialise through digitalisation. Digitalisation is critical for making industries more sustainable resulting in less waste, more resource-efficient, and more productive. 

Nokia has set a science-based target to reduce its emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 across its value chain, including its operations, products in use, logistics, and final assembly supplier factories. Nokia has also been increasing its share of renewable electricity and is committed to reaching 100 per cent by 2025.


Liquid Cooling at MWC22 Barcelona

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia showcased how its products and services can reduce CO2 emissions and the cost of energy and help its customers to take control of their sustainability targets. Nokia demonstrated its AirScale Radios with energy-efficient software features as well as its Liquid-cooled AirScale Baseband and Wavence microwave radio energy innovations.


Joe Taylor, VP Implementation, Provisioning & Optimization at AT&T, said that his firm is committed to tackling climate change, enhancing the efficiency of its network, and reducing our operational carbon footprint – as was therefore pleased to work with Nokia in trialling its liquid-cooled base station in AT&T’s network. “We firmly believe that sustainability is one of the biggest factors impacting the world right now and is a key differentiator in business,” Mr Taylor remarked. “We’re eager to continue aligning with like-minded, innovative companies like Nokia that are developing ground-breaking solutions to combat climate change.”


Daryl Schoolar, Research Director at market intelligence expert IDC, stressed that controlling total cost of network ownership remains an important priority for mobile operators. “A significant portion of that total cost of ownership comes from operating expenses. Network solutions that can lower those operating expenses, which includes cost of energy, are certainly welcomed by mobile operators,” he noted. “Also, if those solutions can help an operator achieve its green energy goals, that is just another added plus.”


Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, was keen to emphasise that “There is no green without digital” and said the commercial availability of Nokia’s liquid cooling technology across the AirScale portfolio highlighted the firm’s commitment to leading the industry to become more sustainable through digitalisation. “Our innovative, game-changing solution reduces energy consumption, costs, and carbon emissions and helps mobile operators become more environmentally responsible,” he advised. “5G networks and technologies will play a critical role in making other industries more sustainable, and we must all play our part to minimise our footprint and accelerate the use of green electricity.”

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