In a significant move towards advancing 5G network capabilities, Telenor and Ericsson have officially entered a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The collaboration aims to pioneer research, development, and testing of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) solutions, with a primary focus on enhancing energy performance without compromising network quality.
The first aspect of their engagement centers on energy management and optimization, specifically targeting the Radio Access Network (RAN). With the impending densification of 5G networks and the increased deployment of sites, particularly in the millimeter-wave spectrum, there is a growing demand for innovative solutions to prevent overloading the grid. The collaboration will explore AI/ML solutions to intelligently automate energy-saving features in 5G networks.
The second area of collaboration revolves around responsible AI development. Both Telenor and Ericsson express a commitment to ethical AI, emphasizing the need to ensure that AI does not result in unintended negative outcomes.
Ieva Martinkenaite, Senior Vice President and Head of Telenor Research & Innovation, envisions the collaboration breaking new ground in leveraging AI and automation to address the complexity of 5G networks, improve energy efficiencies, enhance customer experience, and position Telenor as an AI-first company.
Under the MoU, Telenor and Ericsson plan to publish joint materials on advanced ML methods in mobile networks, covering topics such as energy optimization in RAN and secure, explainable AI. They also intend to create teaching modules and related resources to drive the development of AI-native telecoms.
The collaboration further extends to live testing of AI/ML systems in a network environment, focusing on energy efficiency, anomaly detection, and spectrum sharing. This testing will involve cooperation with early adopters and Telenor customers, with the ultimate goal of validating AI-driven 5G use cases and business models.
This partnership aligns with Telenor’s commitment to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, with a specific focus on reducing emissions in its global operations. By teaming up with Ericsson, Telenor aims to leverage AI and ML to not only enhance network operations but also contribute to the industry-wide effort to make telecom infrastructure more sustainable and eco-friendly.