O2 rolling out smart cooling technology to reduce carbon emissions

The O2 logo on a white and blue background

The UK mobile carrier, O2, has announced that it’s rolling out smart cooling technology at its data centres to help boost the efficiency of its network and to reduce its overall carbon emissions by around one million kilograms year-on-year. The firm said that it's the only mobile network operator to commit to net-zero carbon emissions by 2025 and the new cooling measures will help it reach this goal.

The cooling technology relies upon management software from EkkoSense and smart sensors fitted to data centre equipment. With this data, the amount of cooling that a site needs can be tracked continually, preventing overheating and overcooling. To cool the data centres, the new technology uses cold air from outside rather than solely relying on electric-powered air conditioning. According to the carrier, using fresh air reduces its reliance on polluting refrigerant gases.

Commenting on the cooling upgrade, Tracey Herald, Head of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability at O2, said:

“Our number one priority is keeping customers connected, but that cannot be at the expense of the environment. Data centre cooling is a great example: the more data we use, the hotter the centres can become. Historically networks have relied on air con, but the UK has plenty of fresh, cold air that does the same job – so we’re getting rid of old kit and using energy in a smarter way. Investing in upgrading our network will help us hit our efficiency targets as we head towards net zero by 2025 – without compromising on the service we provide.”

O2 has upgraded 70% of its core network sites so far which will save about 678,000 kilograms of carbon emissions in the first year of use. With COVID-19 being brought under control, more people are expected to start using mobile networks more often. With this cooling technology in place, it should make the network more reliable.

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