Study finds 5G is 90 percent more energy efficient

December 02, 2020 // By Nick Flaherty
Study finds 5G is 90 percent more energy efficient
A study by Nokia and Telefónica has found that 5G networks are up to 90 percent more energy efficient than legacy networks.

The research, which was conducted over a three-month period, focused on the power consumption of Nokia's Radio Access Network (RAN) systems in Telefónica’s network. 

The study used Nokia’s AirScale Basestations and massive MIMO Adaptive Antenna systems and combined actual on-site base station energy consumption readings in different traffic load scenarios, ranging from 0 percent to 100 percent, as well as remote monitoring of actual power consumption through the network management systems.

he rollout of 5G networks is set to increase traffic dramatically making it critical that the energy consumed does not rise at the same rate.

Extensive testing examined eleven different pre-defined traffic load scenarios that measured the energy consumed per Mbps based on the traffic load distribution. The results highlighted that 5G RAN technology is significantly more efficient than legacy technologies when it comes to energy consumption per data traffic capacity with several hardware and software features that help to save energy.

5G has been designed with carry more data bits per watt of energy, but the networks will require further action to enhance energy efficiency and minimize CO2 emissions that will come with exponentially increased data traffic, says Nokia. There are several energy saving features at the radio base station and network levels, such as 5G power saving features, small cell deployments and new 5G architecture and protocols, which can be combined to significantly improve the energy efficiency of wireless networks.

Nokia and Telefónica are also developing smart energy network infrastructure and power saving features based on machine learning and artificial intelligence.  

“Our greatest contribution to overcoming the world’s sustainability challenges is through the solutions and technology we develop and provide. We place huge importance on this. Nokia’s technology is designed to be energy efficient during use but also require less energy during manufacture. This important study highlights how mobile operators can offset energy gains during their rollouts helping them to be


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