Page 54 - European Energy Innovation - Winter 2016 publication
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54  Winter 2016 European Energy Innovation


Power Set to be Key

Battleground for 5G

By Mauro Boldi, ETSI, and Xiaobao Chen, 3GPP

Although energy efficiency                such as indoor hotspots, and 50 Mbps       total energy usage, including that of
               was important in previous  for everywhere under 5G coverage –         existing legacy technologies. For this
               generations of mobile      and a far larger number of connected       to happen, clearly the overall energy
               communications standards,  devices. Some estimates expect up to       efficiency of the network has to improve
such as UMTS and LTE, far greater         50 billion in total, though most agree it  substantially.
emphasis will be placed upon this         will take several years before this level
as a key performance metric in the        is reached. The volume of traffic will     Reducing the ongoing operational
forthcoming 5G standard. With             grow as a wider array of applications      expenses of the network and
each new generation of mobile             emerge that are reliant on elevated        environmental footprint, such as CO2
communication technology, the             data rates and the content that users      emissions, will be among the main
energy consumed by the network has        want to transfer over the network keeps    motivations spurring operators to move
grown significantly, as the number of     expanding. Increased use of video          to 5G, and power consumption is a
subscribers and the level of carried      streaming, plus new services such as       key area where cost savings need to
data traffic have both continued to       those based on augmented reality,          be witnessed. As well as the benefits
rise, despite the consumption of the      will contribute heavily to this. Further   experienced by the operator, there is a
equipment being utilized actually         down the line, industrial, automotive      need to improve the user experience
decreasing slightly. If this dynamic was  and medical applications are certain to    too. The goal here will be to allow
to continue then migration to 5G would    ramp up the data overheads still higher.   smartphones to connect to the network
be difficult from both an economic and                                               while managing to run for much longer
an ecological standpoint. Consequently,   DATA GROWTH AND ENERGY USE                 periods between recharges – thereby
energy efficiency will be one of the      Among the fundamental objectives           offering greater convenience for
highest priorities for the 5G era.        that have been defined for the 5G          mobile subscribers.
                                          standard is for the network’s data
Next generation networks will be          capacity to go up 1,000 fold during        MULTIPLE USE CASES
expected to support dramatically          the course of the next decade. The         One element that makes 5G quite
higher user experienced data rates –      intention is to simultaneously achieve a   different from previous mobile
up to 1 Gbps in some specific areas,      50% reduction in the global network’s      generations is that its operational

Mauro Boldi (left) is vice-chairman of the EEPS (EE Eco Environmental Product Standards) group in the Energy Efficiency
Technical Committee. Xiaobao Chen (right) is the rapporteur of 3GPP SA

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