Fujitsu leverages AI technology to realize energy saving in network operations

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Fujitsu leverages AI technology to realize energy saving in network operations
Fujitsu leverages AI technology to realize energy saving in network operations

O-RAN-based multi-vendor connectivity test results show an energy reduction of over 20%.

The Fujitsu rApp uses traffic estimates powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence to switch network capacity on or off as needed while maintaining service continuity.

Tokyo, December 19, 2023 (JCN Newswire): Fujitsu today announced that it successfully equipped its Virtuora Service Management and Orchestration (SMO) (1) offering for Open RAN with a power-saving application (2) using AI technology developed by Fujitsu. The Fujitsu rApp uses traffic estimates powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence to switch network capacity on or off as needed while maintaining service continuity. Fujitsu conducted interoperability tests of the Virtuora SMO offering equipped with RAN equipment in November 2023 and confirmed power savings of more than 20% compared to conventional methods for estimating communication traffic for individual base stations.

Fujitsu further conducted successful interoperability tests with a third-party system-level RAN emulator compliant with the O-RAN specifications provided by VIAVI Solutions (an American telecommunications network measurement equipment vendor; hereinafter VIAVI). VIAVI TeraVM RIC Test is a comprehensive AI training enablement, test, and measurement solution for the validation of Open RAN RIC, xApps (3), and rApps (4) using a containerized platform.

Fujitsu announced the test results at “O-RAN ALLIANCE Global PlugFest (5) Fall 2023,” an international event held by the O-RAN ALLIANCE (6) in November 2023. O-RAN ALLIANCE plans to publish a PlugFest virtual showcase, providing more details.

Moving forward, Fujitsu plans to promote the creation and enhancement of a multi-vendor Open RAN ecosystem globally. Fujitsu will support telecommunication carriers in reducing operation and maintenance costs and accelerating the development of new services, with the goal of contributing to the realization of carbon-neutral network operations through power-saving technologies.

Overview of the connection tests

1. Date:

November 17, 2023

2. Location:

New Jersey, USA, COSMOS Lab at Rutgers University (one of two North American Open Testing and Integration Centers and host of part of the O-RAN ALLIANCE Global PlugFest Fall 2023)

3. Outline of the tests:

– Conducted interoperability testing, including verification of multi-vendor end-to-end connectivity and interoperability (7), between Fujitsu’s Virtuora SMO offering and VIAVI’s verification equipment, in compliance with the specifications established by O-RAN ALLIANCE (O-RAN specifications)
– Conducted power consumption testing of the Virtuora SMO equipped with a power-saving application (rApp); Fujitsu confirmed a power saving of over 20% compared to the conventional methods.

4. Contents, roles, and responsibilities:

As part of the interoperability tests, Fujitsu constructed a testing facility consisting of Fujitsu’s Virtuora SMO offering equipped with the “Virtuora Mobility Controller,” an integrated RAN control function that enables the parallel usage of power-saving applications, closed RAN (8), open RAN, and multi-RAT (9), and the “TeraVM RIC Test,” a RIC (10) Tester developed by VIAVI that simulates the RAN function.

Responsibilities:

Fujitsu: multi-vendor connectivity assessment
VIAVI: RAN scenario generator, analysis, and monitoring of power-saving

Companies, including AT&T Communications, participated as advisors in the tests and reviewed test items from an operator perspective and an operational perspective. Interoperability tests were conducted under the evaluation of AT&T.

Results of the multi-vendor interoperability test showed that Fujitsu’s Virtuora SMO can successfully be connected to third-party vendors’ RAN equipment and showed that power savings can be realized.

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Figure 1: Outline of the interconnection tests

Features: Leverages time series prediction technology that enables the prediction of communication traffic in a small area of 100 square meters based on the location distribution data of users and terminals in a time series

Combine optimization technologies to quickly select an RU configuration that delivers the highest power-saving effect at any given time.

By harnessing the power of AI, Fujitsu’s innovative application accurately estimated communication traffic for individual base stations on a cell-by-cell basis. This AI-driven approach resulted in over 20% power savings compared to traditional methods, impacting areas ranging from several square kilometers to several hundred square meters.

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[1] Service Management and Orchestration (SMO): System to manage the optimization and lifecycle of RAN operations and maintenance defined by Service Management and Orchestration (SMO) in the O-RAN architecture
[2] Power-saving application: This application is based on results obtained from the “Research and Development Project of the Enhanced Infrastructures for Post-5G Information and Communication Systems” (JPNP20017), commissioned by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).
[3] xApp: Application to provide fast and optimal control of RAN devices based on information analysis and control policies. xApp is running on a Near-Real-Time RAN Intelligent Controller (Near-RT RIC).
[4] rApp: Application to enhance and automate the management of RAN operations based on resource optimization and operational data from RAN. rApp is running on a non-real-Time RAN intelligent controller (non-RT RIC).
[5] O-RAN ALLIANCE Global PlugFest: O-RAN ALLIANCE Global PlugFests are periodic events organized and co-sponsored by O-RAN ALLIANCE to enable efficient progress of the O-RAN ecosystem through well-organized testing and integration. Vendors and providers come together to test, evaluate, and verify their products and solutions. It includes testing the interconnectivity of base station equipment from different vendors according to O-RAN specifications and sharing the results. O-RAN Global PlugFest Fall 2023 was co-hosted by 24 major operators, Open Testing and Integration Centres (OTIC) and independent institutions. It was conducted from September to November 2023 in 16 labs across Asia, Europe, and North America, with 52 participating companies or institutions, many of which participated at more than one venue. The event focused on the advancement of intelligent RAN solutions based on O-RAN radio intelligent controllers as well as the integration of open and interoperable interfaces.
[6] O-RAN ALLIANCE: Established in 2018, O-RAN ALLIANCE is an industry group with the mission to transform radio access networks to be open, intelligent, virtualized, and fully interoperable.
[7] End-to-end connectivity and interoperability: Here is a communication quality test between the vRAN base station equipment and the SMO connected to the terminal as simulated by VIAVI’s RIC Test.
[8] Closed RAN: Here is a radio base station using a unique interface that is not O-RAN compliant.
[9] Multi-RAT: Multiple radio access technologies, including LTE, 3G, and GSM
[10] RIC: Abbreviation for RAN Intelligent Controller, a controller that autonomously executes and controls RAN parameter settings and operational optimization

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