Eurobites: BT rolls out 'cell sleep' tech to save RAN energy

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Motorola sues UK government over 'unpaid' Airwave bills; European Commission tightens thumbscrews on Apple; Arcep updates in France.

Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe

June 24, 2024

3 Min Read
BT logo on building
(Source: BT)
  • BT has rolled out energy-saving "cell sleep" technology across the mobile sites of its EE subsidiary in the UK. The technology, says BT, works by putting certain 4G LTE carriers into sleep mode when the capacity is not needed, based on predicted periods of low traffic which have been established for each site through machine learning. The system then automatically "wakes up" during busy times, and is also configured to react to unexpected surges of traffic during designated quiet times. A further level of low-power doziness, "deep sleep," can also be activated if required, say during overnight hours when demand is extremely low. BT, whose networks account for around 89% of its total energy consumption, predicts that the technology will provide energy savings of up to 2KWh per site per day. (See Eurobites: Telenor, Ericsson turn to AI to save energy.)

  • The UK government is being sued by Motorola for more than £14 million (US$17.7 million) for what the US company claims are unpaid bills relating to Motorola's work on Britain's emergency-services radio network. As the Telegraph reports (paywall applies), Motorola accuses the government of underpaying bills for the ageing Airwave network since March of last year. Airwave was supposed to have been replaced by a 4G-based system by now, but the introduction of the so-called ESN – which would run on EE's mobile network – has been plagued by delays.

  • The European Commission has told Apple that its App Store rules are in breach of the Digital Markets Act (DMA), as they prevent app developers from freely steering consumers to alternative channels where they might be able to buy the app in question for less money. The Commission has also opened a new non-compliance procedure against Apple over concerns that its new contractual requirements for third-party app developers and app stores, including Apple's so-called "Core Technology Fee," do not fully comply with its obligations under the DMA. If Apple does not get its compliance act together, the Commission could in theory fine it up to 10% of its worldwide turnover, as the company is classed as an online "gatekeeper." (See Eurobites: EU gives digital 'gatekeepers' a grilling.)

  • The French regulator Arcep has published the first volume of its annual report, in which it updates the public on its responsibilities and actions in the previous year. It notes that "telecom operators and mobile telephone infrastructure operators (towercos) invested a total 13.8 billion euros," or $14.75 billion, in 2023, which is a 5% decrease from last year. Meanwhile, operators' retail market revenue grew by 2.5%. In brave defiance of established numbering practices, Arcep released the volume one of the report after volume two, which was published on June 11.

  • Vodafone Business is studying the precise movements of Italians in the Campania Region, together with the transport authority Ente Autonomo Volturno (EAV), as well as partners Motion Analytica and GO Mobile. The study draws on data collected between March 2023 and March 2024, collected from 23 million SIM cards, 200,000 phones and 30 billion daily reference positions, in order to help local authorities with future transport and infrastructure planning. And if that sounds a little creepy to anyone, Vodafone stresses the data used is non-personal and anonymized.

  • Orange has opened its IoT platform Orange Smart Energies to all energy producers in Africa. The platform is intended to reduce the risk of non-payment, thus improving profitability, as it guarantees payment via mobile money under a pay-as-you-go model.

    Additional reporting by Tereza Krásová.

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About the Author(s)

Paul Rainford

Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

Paul is based on the Isle of Wight, a rocky outcrop off the English coast that is home only to a colony of technology journalists and several thousand puffins.

He has worked as a writer and copy editor since the age of William Caxton, covering the design industry, D-list celebs, tourism and much, much more.

During the noughties Paul took time out from his page proofs and marker pens to run a small hotel with his other half in the wilds of Exmoor. There he developed a range of skills including carrying cooked breakfasts, lying to unwanted guests and stopping leaks with old towels.

Now back, slightly befuddled, in the world of online journalism, Paul is thoroughly engaged with the modern world, regularly firing up his VHS video recorder and accidentally sending text messages to strangers using a chipped Nokia feature phone.

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