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More capacity and less power: How 5G NR can reduce network energy consumption

In this paper we compare the energy consumption of the 3GPP standards 5G New Radio (NR) and Long-Term Evolution (LTE). We show that the energy consumption in an idle network (without user plane traffic) can be up to 9 times lower for an NR stand-alone network compared to an LTE network.

The network energy consumption in low or no traffic scenarios is a significant part of the operator OPEX in low traffic areas, such as in extreme rural scenarios, and here NR has a clear advantage compared to LTE. To evaluate the energy performance advantage of NR when we have very high traffic, such as in Super-Dense Urban and Urban scenarios, we perform system evaluations. We show that if we increase capacity in an existing LTE network with additional NR micro cells compared to using additional LTE cells, the reduction in network energy consumption is close to 50 percent. If we also upgrade the LTE cells in the macro coverage layer to NR a total energy reduction of up to 70 percent is achievable.

Full abstract in IEEE Xplore, DOI: 10.1109/VTCSpring.2019.8746600

Authors: Pål Frenger, Richard Tano

Published in: 2019 IEEE 89th Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC2019-Spring)

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