Green Radio debate at PIMRC 2010 in Istanbul

There are quite few large scale initiatives in “Green” Energy efficient wireless systems. This was evident from both the technical sessions as well as in the panel session on Monday afternoon, Sept 27th.  All the big players is on the bandwagon in either industry initiatives such as Green Touch , GREAT as well as FP7 programs such as EARTH. The debate seems to be what are the gains that are to be achieved by just extrapolating the the current trend of energy reduction in equipment and how much much we need to achieved by “revolutionary” measures. A significant problem seems to be that everyone agrees that energy consumption has to go down but there is only  a rather vague notion on how much wireless capacity is needed. Certainly the latter is directly related to the total energy consumption. There was a debate between the  Green Touch alliance, representated by Suresh Goyal (of Alcatel-Lucent),  that targets a 100-fold decrease in energy consumption, and Ylva Jading, project manager of Ericssons effort in EARTH, that claimed that a 300-fold decrease is expected to 2020 by just extrapolating the current trends. The aim is thus, obviously too low.

Some interesting facts on the economic realities where also brought up by Man-Fai Wong of France Telecom . Impressive 21% of the electricity bill of FT is from running mobile networks – a significant component in the companies P&L sheet. Personally I think this is the main driver for energy savings not the bold, politically correct,  environmental goals. I also asked what the panel thought about new business models for infrastructure sharing in indoor environments to save energy. ” A good idea, we must certain do that”.  How – remains to be seen.

Jens Zander

About Jens Zander

Professor Jens Zander is professor in Radio Communication Systems at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. He has been among the few in Swedens Ny Teknik magazine's annual list of influential people in ICT that have been given the epithet “Mobile Guru”. He is one of the leading researchers in mobile communication and is the Scientific director of the industry/academia collaboration center Wireless@KTH. His research group focuses on three main areas – the efficient and scalable use of the radio frequency spectrum, economic aspects of mobile systems and application and energy efficiency in future wireless infrastructures.
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