Energy efficiency of wireless network is getting more and more popularity among the wireless research community. It is now difficult to find a conference not having a panel discussion about green technology.
In IEEE PIMRC 2011, there was a panel session named “How to make Mobile Cellular Communications even Greener?” Here are lessons that I’ve got from the session:
1. It is imperative to have a holistic view on energy efficiency. Minimizing energy consumption of an entity does not necessarily bring about the energy efficiency of whole wireless network. Putting in simple words, you cannot cheat on energy. An attempt to reduce energy consumption in some part of the network may lead to more energy in other parts.
2. Minimizing energy consumption does not always mean greenest radio. Use of renewable energy can be regarded as greener technology even if it increases total energy consumption. Of course, a careful cost analysis will be needed for the use of renewable energy.
Regarding the first point, I asked panels about energy for backhaul: how much energy will be consumed in backhaul side when we employ small cells? I haven’t got a clear answer. Apparently, energy consumption model including backbaul is yet to come.