You cannot cheat on energy

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.

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2 Responses to You cannot cheat on energy

  1. Anonymous says:

    I agree that back-haul has to be taken into account, but will this not be very similar to the infrastructure cost? Its the first 100 meters that are expensive, after that the resources are shared by very many access points so the cost/energy consumption per access points becomes negligible compared to the energy consumption of the access point itself.nnWhen looking at a really holistic view the total energy consumption, things become hard. How much energy is spent in producing and installing more (small access points) ?

    • Ki Won Sung says:

      Having a “comprehensive” holistic energy consumption model will be veryu00a0difficult, and it may not be useful because of complexity. The real challenge is, in my opinion, to have a “reasonably simple” energy consumption model that can be used for further investigations.

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