Eco Innovation

Telco industry bosses to meet in Warsaw to tackle energy crisis

7th October 2022
Kiera Sowery

Representatives of Europe’s largest telecom companies will meet in Warsaw from October 11-12 to discuss their role in solving the problem of rising energy prices.

The 15th iteration of the Dni Światła (Days of Light) conference is organised by telecommunication network specialist Salumanus and will present lectures and technology workshops centred around the issue of energy saving.

The Energy Regulatory Office reports that electricity became 100 per cent more expensive in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. While it’s a problem across the board, the telecoms industry has been particularly badly affected by rising inflation, resulting in a squeeze on margins and stifled innovation.

The Dni Światła conference will bring together panellists from major players including Exatel, Orange, Play Group (Iliad) and Akamai. The discussions will be facilitated by telecoms specialist Salumanus and topics will include solutions for power-efficient data transmission and network optimisation — and panellists will present their case studies in LAN and Wi-Fi 6 network design.

“Energy optimisation is nothing new for the telco and data centre industry,” said Marcin Bala, CEO of Salumanus. “The Uptime Institute estimates that 82 per cent of organisations currently monitor energy consumption. However, the economic situation is forcing more decisive steps and faster implementation of energy-saving solutions.

“At last year's Dni Światła, we talked about 400G transmission, and we are now preparing for 800G tests. However, as speeds grow, energy saving becomes even more critical, so bringing together industry heads at this conference is vital.”

Further research suggest that data centres account for about one per cent of the world's electricity demand. Orange, one of the largest telecommunications companies on the Polish market, estimates that its data processing centres currently consume as much electricity as a city of 40,000 people.

“The recipe for lower power consumption is to simplify network architecture and reduce the number of devices or use more current-efficient equipment,” said Paweł Śmiechowski, head of the Orange Development Department. “To solve the energy crisis, it is important to address not just the investment costs, but the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a network, including maintenance over a 10-year period.”

Changes in network architecture are being forced not only by increasing capacity, but also by climate change. The European Commission, for example, has set a target of 10,000 climate-neutral network nodes by the end of 2030. 

“It is not enough to equip such nodes with photovoltaic panels, as energy storage costs remain,” said Adam Sedlin, head of EXATEL's Transport Network Department. “We need energy and cost-efficient network devices that consume less power or perform more functions simultaneously. That means that less equipment is procured in the network."

The Dni Światła conference will also showcase the success story of  Salumanus’ fibre-optic laboratory. The company develops network solutions that allow energy consumption to be halved or even reduced by 90 per cent. Optical modules from the company’s manufacturing line, called GBC Photonics, allow transponders to be eliminated from the network, saving considerable rack space. The unique Simple Recode Device (SRD) programmer, created by Krakow engineers, reduces e-waste by allowing users to replace multiple optical modules with one universal transceiver. 

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