TIM Participacoes S.A. (TIM for short) is a subsidiary of Telecom Italia in Brazil. It is also among the top four operators in Brazil. Up to now, TIM has more than 54 million mobile subscribers.
TIM CEO Pietro Labriola has mentioned that "both in Brazil and Italy, Telecom Italia is willing to be the pioneer and leader in 5G." In the 4G era, TIM has a leading position in terms of coverage. Constrained by limited spectrum resources and network capacity, TIM is actively pushing for 5G to come, and is now competing intensely with other local operators to be the leading 5G brand.
Brazil TIM performed well in the first three quarters of 2019 by continuing to lead the Brazilian telecom market. TIM actively taps into new revenue streams and focuses on value-driven investment. TIM's pressure to reduce OPEX grows with the complexity of networks. According to the OPEX analysis, site leasing and energy maintenance costs account for about 52% of the total OPEX, which involves O&M costs for replacing batteries due to theft and old rectifiers.
TIM suffered from a significant level of lead-acid battery theft in Brazil. The battery theft cost is an important aspect of OPEX. The annual average battery theft rate at TIM sites is around 15%. In the past, TIM tried many physical anti-theft methods to alleviate the situation, but did not achieve much success in these attempts. In 2018, the total loss caused directly or indirectly by lead-acid battery theft had reached 6 million US dollars.
The lack of digital management methods is another reason for the high energy O&M cost. The old power system has low reliability and uses traditional dry contacts for alarm management. The alarm for site breakdown risk is usually delayed. In addition, the status of traditional lead-acid batteries is not visualized, and the battery life is short. So it is easy to cause site breakdown due to insufficient site backup time. The TIM O&M team has long been preoccupied by these problems. TIM has tried many methods to improve battery visualization, asset management efficiency, and energy reliability to reduce OPEX, but with little success.
According to the latest information, Brazil's 5G spectrum is scheduled to be released in Q3 of 2020, and local operators are gearing up. How to keep ahead in the 5G era is a topic of great interest for all operators. Network evolution will also drive the change of power systems and batteries. Site load bearing and land occupation in the 5G era will pose great challenges. For a typical TIM outdoor site, the current power consumption of all loads is about 18 kW, with a 300 A outdoor power cabinet and four 150 Ah lead-acid batteries installed. Following the arrival of 5G, it is predicted that by 2021 the average power consumption for each site will reach 24 kW. To support the same power backup time for the main equipment, six lead-acid batteries and additional battery cabinets need to be added. This will result in additional footprints, and the load bearing capacity of a rooftop site may be insufficient.
How can site battery theft risks and additional losses be reduced?
How can digital management of site batteries be carried out?
How can network evolution requirements and lower evolution costs be implemented?
These are the questions being considered by TIM.
Huawei Telecom Energy has been engaged in the research of energy storage for many years. It is the pioneer in applying lithium batteries to replace traditional lead-acid batteries in the telecom industry. As the driving force of 5G,Huawei 5G Power BoostLi battery 5G Power BoostLi has been used successfully in many global customers' networks. Huawei provides the 5G Power BoostLi solution to TIM Brazil, replacing the traditional lead-acid batteries. With key concepts of "Simple", "Intelligent", and "Green", 5G Power BoostLi helps TIM effectively reduce battery theft risks and get ready for the arrival of 5G.
5G Power BoostLi has excellent anti-theft features. It has an appearance that is similar to the main equipment and, unlike a traditional lead-acid battery, it has no value when recycled.
By working with the NetEco management system, 5G Power BoostLi can activate the anti-theft software lock remotely. Once the battery is stolen or a fault is detected, an alarm will be sent to the NetEco, resulting in the battery being automatically locked and incapacitated. This minimizes the theft loss and fundamentally solves the issue of batteries being stolen. It is estimated that 5G Power BoostLi will reduce losses of about 6 million US dollars for TIM each year. In addition, anti-theft latches are installed during battery installation, which are difficult to destroy with ordinary tools.
In addition to anti-theft features, 5G Power BoostLi also has a small size and high power density compared with traditional lead-acid batteries. It supports modular and smooth capacity expansion, meeting expansion demands without adding battery cabinets. For 100 Ah capacity, 5G Power BoostLi is 60% smaller and 80% lighter than lead-acid batteries.
In the future, an average of ten 100 Ah 5G Power BoostLi batteries will be able to meet the backup time requirements of a TIM 5G site. Compared with traditional lead-acid batteries, 5G Power BoostLi effectively reduces the impact on site load bearing capacity and land occupation, thereby lowering site CAPEX and OPEX.
5G Power BoostLi used together with the NetEco can achieve real-time management of battery SOH, SOC, and backup time, effectively alerting the risk of site breakdown and maximizing site reliability.
Another highlight of 5G Power BoostLi is that it can run in a high temperature environment (35°C to 45°C) for a long time. By contrast, when used at an ambient temperature above 35°C, a traditional lead-acid battery will bulge and its life will be greatly shortened. Many tropical cities such as Rio De Janeiro in Brazil have days with temperatures above 35°C. If Huawei 5G Power BoostLi is deployed, TIM can increase the cabinet temperature setting from 25°C to 35°C. This will reduce cooling requirements and cooling energy consumption, thereby saving electricity costs.
Huawei 5G Power BoostLi helps TIM achieve network digitalization and intelligent battery management thanks to its intelligent anti-theft, intelligent O&M, and high density features. Now 5G Power BoostLi is being gradually deployed on TIM networks and helping TIM reduce battery theft risks and get ready for 5G.
This blog is sponsored by Huawei.