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Fujitsu's AI & Open RAN innovation leads to major energy savings
Thu, 28th Dec 2023

Fujitsu has announced a ground-breaking innovation combining AI technology with Open RAN to realise significant energy savings in network operations. The company has successfully implemented its Virtuora Service Management and Orchestration (SMO) system with a power-saving application developed by Fujitsu that uses a traffic estimate powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence.

This system, known as Fujitsu rApp, uses AI to adjust network capacity as required, maintaining service continuity while reducing power usage. In tests carried out in November 2023 with RAN equipment, Fujitsu confirmed power savings of over 20% compared to conventional approaches that estimate communication traffic for individual base stations.

Additional interoperability tests were conducted with a third party, VIAVI Solutions, a US-based telecommunications network measurement equipment vendor. VIAVI's TeraVM RIC test is a comprehensive solution for validation of Open RAN RIC, xApps, and rApps using a containerised platform.

Fujitsu presented the test results at the O-RAN ALLIANCE Global PlugFest in November 2023, an international event organised by the O-RAN ALLIANCE. The alliance plans to publish a PlugFest Virtual Showcase to provide further details.

Looking ahead, Fujitsu has expressed its intention to promote a multi-vendor Open RAN ecosystem at a global level. The firm aims to support telecommunications carriers in reducing operation and maintenance costs, speeding up the development of new services, and achieving carbon-neutral network operations through power saving technologies.

In the tests conducted in November 2023, Fujitsu tested the interoperability between its Virtuora SMO system and VIAVI's verification equipment, in compliance with the specifications set by O-RAN ALLIANCE. The tests included power consumption testing of Virtuora SMO fitted with a power-saving application, confirming a power saving of over 20% compared to conventional methods.

The interoperability tests showed that Fujitsu's Virtuora SMO can connect successfully to third party vendors' RAN equipment and that it is possible to achieve significant power savings. AT&T Communication participated as advisors in the tests and reviewed test items from an operator perspective.

Fujitsu's AI technology, implemented in the power-saving application, capitalised on time series prediction technology. This enabled the prediction of communication traffic in an area as small as 100 square meters based on the location distribution data of users and terminals in a time-series manner. The technology quickly selected an RU configuration that delivered the highest power saving effect at any given time. This AI-driven method led to a power saving of over 20% compared to traditional methods and demonstrated the potential for a significant impact in areas varying between several square kilometers and several hundred square meters.