The telecom industry consumes between 2-3% of the world’s energy according to the GSMA, and energy consumption for mobile network operators accounts for 20-40% of network opex.
This bill is set to increase as operators roll out 5G technology. The promise of gigabit speeds has a price: cell sites need more power to run 5G services. The amount of power 5G requires is significant and has many operators thinking carefully about related trade-offs. For their part, vendors are rapidly evolving their 5G gear to incorporate the latest technologies and introduce new techniques to improve the efficiency of wireless infrastructure.
In this paper, we provide an overview of power consumption in mobile networks. Our objective is to bring awareness to this important subject. We also address some of the key elements that operators and vendors are taking to manage energy consumption in mobile networks.