Polytechnique Montréal partners with Ericsson Canada and Montreal universities to improve the sustainability of 5G networking through artificial intelligence

Professors Jean-François Frigon and François Leduc-Primeau, from the Department of Electrical Engineering, are taking part in a research project carried out jointly by Polytechnique Montréal, the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS), Concordia University, Environment and Climate Change Canada and Ericsson which aims to use artificial intelligence to reduce the energy consumption of 5G networks.

Credit photo: Ericsson

Ericsson Canada announced a strategic research program led by ÉTS, in partnership with Polytechnique Montréal, Concordia University and Environment and Climate Change Canada, to explore how artificial intelligence (AI) can help the telecommunications sector to minimize the energy consumption of 5G networks. One of the aims of this project is to help communications service providers reduce their carbon footprint and operating costs through energy savings, which in turn will help them reduce consumer charges and lower the harmful emissions.

“5G networks are the technological backbone of our society; they provide an opportunity to digitize industries and significantly reduce global CO2 emissions,” said Erik Ekudden, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Ericsson. “Under the careful guidance of our partners and with the help of experts from Ericsson in Montreal, an AI hub, our researchers will test and refine solutions to make 5G and next generation networks smarter. and energy efficient for service providers and more cost effective for users. »

“The climate crisis requires new solutions and the pooling of multidisciplinary talents,” explains François Bertrand, director of research and innovation at Polytechnique Montréal. “Over the next three years, by combining their strengths with those of faculty members and researchers from the four partner organizations, our experts will harness the potential of artificial intelligence and help reduce the amount of energy needed by base stations to transmit signals to wireless devices. This is essential, given the increase in the number of connected devices, which is expected to be considerable. »

In close collaboration with seven faculty members and 27 researchers from Polytechnique, ÉTS and Concordia University, data scientists from the Global Artificial Intelligence Accelerator (GAIA) d Ericsson in Montreal will support the three-year research project, while benefiting from the knowledge and expertise of Environment and Climate Change Canada. Ericsson will leverage global experts from Ericsson Research, who will lead the group in standardizing its research results and developing solutions that can be industrialized and integrated into 5G products and services.

It is also expected that the results of this research will strengthen Environment and Climate Change Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) modeling solutions for the information and communications technology sector, and that they contribute to standardization on a global scale. This partnership benefits from the financial support of the Quebec government (through InnovÉÉ – Innovation in electrical energy) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (CNRSG).

“The Government of Canada is constantly looking for innovative ways to reduce pollution and fight climate change in industries, both new and old. Teaming up between Ericsson Canada, Montreal’s world-class universities and the AI ​​research and development community, of which Montreal is a leader, is another smart step in the pursuit of growth and jobs. neutral,” said the Honorable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change for the Government of Canada.

“We are convinced that the collaborative research model is essential for developing new technologies aimed at reducing GHG emissions in the energy sector faster, smarter and more competitively,” says Thierry St-Cyr, President -General Manager of InnovÉÉ – Innovation in electrical energy.

Transmit and configure differently to reduce energy footprint

Information and communications technology is a sector of activity where energy consumption is intense and growing. 5G is more energy efficient than previous generations of mobile communications; however, overall mobile network power consumption is expected to increase due to the need to increase network capacity to accommodate the exponential growth in data traffic.

By integrating AI into these networks, the researchers involved in the project will develop ways to self-configure and reconfigure themselves, in order to reduce energy consumption to a minimum level, while maintaining the level of quality of service required.

As part of the project, Jean-François Frigon, full professor and director of the Department of Electrical Engineering, and François Leduc-Primeau, assistant professor in the same department, will carry out research aimed at reducing the energy required by the stations base for transmitting signals to wireless devices.

1665979672 443 Polytechnique Montreal partners with Ericsson Canada and Montreal universities to
Professors Jean-François Frigon and François Leduc-Primeau.

This contribution will be particularly important, as the number of connected devices is expected to increase dramatically, on the one hand, and as mobile network operators strive to reduce their energy footprint, on the other.

Professor Jean-François Frigon explains that this goal will be achieved by leveraging artificial intelligence to allow base stations to identify many details about the complex wireless environments in which they operate and configure the transmission characteristics appropriately. and the use of radio resources.

“Wireless networks provide varied and dynamic services to many users in complex and constantly changing environments. In this context, reducing the energy footprint is a complex problem to solve,” says Professor Frigon. “Our research has demonstrated that artificial intelligence is a powerful tool for wireless systems and we anticipate that it will identify new methods of transmission and configuration of base stations that can significantly reduce the energy footprint of wireless systems. wireless networks of the future. »

“The research will also aim to achieve an additional reduction in energy consumption by reducing the amount of calculations required to provide radio signals to the devices of users of a wireless network”, adds Professor François Leduc-Primeau.

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Polytechnique Montréal partners with Ericsson Canada and Montreal universities to improve the sustainability of 5G networking through artificial intelligence

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