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Crnogorski Telekom inks energy infrastructure management deal with Ericsson


Crnogorski Telekom, Montenegro’s leading telecommunications service provider and a member of the Deutsche Telekom Group, has signed a 10-year Energy Infrastructure Management agreement with Ericsson.

This is the first Energy Infrastructure Management contract announced since Ericsson unveiled its collaboration with Panasonic Corporation of North America last year. Ericsson’s Energy Infrastructure Management is an efficient means of measuring, monitoring and maintaining energy infrastructure for mobile operators and tower companies. It uses big data analytics, energy management software, and lithium-ion batteries for energy storage.

Crnogorski Telekom currently uses a combination of diesel generators and lead-acid batteries as a source of backup power for its cell sites. Compared to lead-acid batteries, Panasonic’s lithium-ion batteries offer superior energy density, are less vulnerable to damage from excessive discharging and extreme temperatures, and require less maintenance.

Under the terms of the contract with Crnogorski Telekom, Ericsson will assume responsibility for the design, roll out and management of lithium-ion battery and power infrastructure solutions for the operator’s cell sites.

Ericsson will provide these services via an Energy Network Operations Center, thereby ensuring the highest levels of energy efficiency and availability. Panasonic, Ericsson’s partner, will handle the manufacturing, supply, asset ownership, dimensioning, 10-year performance service-level agreements (SLAs), and support for battery and power infrastructure.

Valentina Radulovic, Technology Director from Crnogorski Telekom, says: “We are pleased to announce the signing of the Energy Infrastructure Management agreement with Ericsson. This is another sustainable solution which we decided to implement in order to further reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. As the technology leader in the Montenegrin market, we will continue with sustainable innovations that will result in a more efficient, reliable and powerful network for our customers.”

Philip Herman, Vice President Green Tower Solutions at Panasonic Enterprise Solutions, says: “Energy Infrastructure Management minimizes energy consumption and total cost of ownership while maximizing system resilience and connectivity uptime, which is why we like to think of this offering as ‘energy-functions optimization’. We’re combining Panasonic’s expertise in energy solutions with Ericsson’s strength in telecommunications, and the result is networks that are smarter, more efficient and more sustainable. Our batteries’ high energy density, high voltage, lack of memory effect, and flat discharge voltage make for a very stable power supply.”

Peter Laurin, Head of Managed Services at Ericsson, says: “Together with Panasonic, we will reduce the cost of energy equipment ownership for targeted Crnogorski Telekom sites by up to 40 percent. This is primarily a result of Ericsson’s advanced power source selection logic, extended battery life-cycles, and the reduced need for site visits. Our offering is based on an as-a-service business model, which provides Crnogorski Telekom with immediate savings with minimal upfront investment. Energy typically accounts for anything from 10 to 60 percent of an operator’s operational expenditure.”

The operational benefits include the ability to remotely monitor site infrastructure, which can be particularly useful in a country such as Montenegro that features some of the most rugged terrain in Europe. Ericsson’s Energy Infrastructure Management provides analysis of operating and sensor data, which enables proactive maintenance and reduces the need for unexpected, urgent site visits.

Ericsson’s Energy Infrastructure Management also reduces energy losses associated with the operation of rectifiers and air conditioners at cell sites by optimizing capacity and run cycles, thereby further reducing costs. Furthermore, the service helps to lower operators’ energy costs by limiting use of power from the grid to off-peak times.

Ericsson and Panasonic will closely monitor usage of the lithium-ion batteries to ensure their operating parameters are not exceeded, thereby prolonging battery life and reducing pollution. Lithium-ion batteries are also less vulnerable to damage resulting from excessive discharging and extreme temperatures than lead-acid batteries. Since the batteries are closely monitored, their replacement and modernization can be carefully planned.