Among the many sustainability-related propositions on display during this year’s Mobile World Congress, Accenture showcased a smart home platform that can track the energy efficiency of domestic devices and help CSPs develop new managed services offerings for their consumer customers using their 5G networks and IoT know-how.
The platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities to track multiple aspects of devices being used within a home, from the warranty of a light bulb, to the temperature of a fridge and even to the kWh usage of a decades-old toaster. That data feeds into a dashboard that can show in detail, and room by room, what is driving energy consumption and how users can lower their usage and, respectively, their monthly utility bill.
“Even if you have an old toaster from 1980s, we can pick it up from the device in the home grid… and if you’re using renewable energy and you have solar on top, then the 5G will detect [this] through the home platform” and provide advice on when it might be the best time to program the washing machine – maybe during the day when the sun is shining rather than at 8pm at night when energy tariffs might be higher – to balance out consumption and improve efficiency, explains Albert Tan, managing director of Accenture’s Network Services in the ASIAM (ANZ, SE Asia, India, Africa and Middle East) region and global sustainability lead for its Communications & Media industry.
According to Accenture, the platform will allow operators to offer their customers the right set of insights into how the platform is performing and to ensure they are using the right bundle of services.
The platform is being trialled by a few operators in North America where consumer demand is very high, according to the company.
Accenture is currently deciding whether the platform will be offered as a plug-and-play solution that service providers can brand and use or something that can be used as the basis for an operator-specific offering. Either way, it is being designed to position CSPs as companies that can help their customers track and manage their energy consumption. “We believe in the mantra that telcos can be an enabler and amplifier of energy efficiencies,” noted Tan.
He explained that telcos with “a really good 5G network” can deploy such tracking platforms as part of their IoT service for energy efficiency inside smart buildings and homes and transport systems.
He cited data from a recent study he co-authored in collaboration with CTIA, which has found that 20% of US carbon abatement by 2050 could be saved from 5G and, specifically, from automation in smart transit, remote working, and smart buildings, among others. “Everybody will set a target – the real measure is, how fast are they achieving it per year?” Tan added.
On that point, he highlighted Accenture’s efforts in creating a scorecard with different software vendors “to not only track and set a target for ESG [environmental, social and governance],” but to also “implement and manage the KPIs as a goal” and understand a company’s performance on energy consumptions.
The company also develops telecoms network design and optimisation tools that collect data to see how the network is performing and where telcos can drive efficiency. “We’ve taken this whole ecosystem… partnered with everybody that actually is in the area, and aggregated it as a one-stop shop value proposition,” Tan noted.
As for Accenture itself, it also tracks its own environmental impact, alongside social and governance aspects through its 360 Value reporting experience. The ITP