SK Telecom and Ericsson have tested a technology that they claim improves the efficiency of small cells by dynamically waking them up when they have incoming traffic.

‘Smart Wake-Up’ is designed to control the operation of idle base stations in the early morning and late at night by enabling a cell to automatically turn off when there are no phones detected in the area and to reactivate itself when a device comes in the coverage area.

The companies claimed that a reduction in the number of active base stations can lower the interference between cells and therefore speed up the data transmission between base stations and devices.

An SK Telecom representative said that in addition to improving the energy efficiency of networks, it expects to cut operating costs of base stations and improve the durability of networking equipment since they will be inactive during low-traffic hours.

In the recent tests, SK Telecom found that Smart Wake-Up increased data throughput by 18 per cent and reduced power consumption of the base station by 21 per cent.

A statement from SK Telecom suggested that the operator expects the technology to be commercialised, but there is no mention of timescales.