Wireless access networks today consume 0.5 percent of the global energy. Rapidly growing demand for new services and ubiqutious connectivity, will further increase the energy consumption. This situation imposes a big challenge for mobile operators not only due to soaring cost of energy, but also increasing concern for global warming and sustainable development.
This thesis focuses on the energy efficiency issue at the system level and studies how to incorporate energy-awareness into the design of future wireless access networks. The main contributions have been given in the areas of energy efficiency assessment, architectural and operational solutions, and total cost of investment analysis.
The precise evaluation of energy efficiency is the first essential step to determine optimized solutions where metrics and models constitute the two key elements.We show that maximizing energy efficiency is not always equivalent to minimizing energy consumption which is one of the main reasons behind the presented contradictory and disputable conclusions in the literature. Further we indicate that in order to avoid the debatable directions, energy efficient network design problems should be formulated with well defined coverage and capacity requirements. Moreover, we propose novel backhaul power consumption models considering various technology and architectural options relevant for urban and rural environments and show that backhaul will potentially become a bottleneck in future ultra-high capacity wireless access networks.
Second, we focus on clean-slate network deployment solutions satisfying different quality of service requirements in a more energy efficient manner. We identify that the ratio between idle- and transmit power dependent power consumption of a base station as well as the network capacity requirement are the two key parameters that affect the energy-optimum design.While results show that macro cellular systems are the most energy efficient solution for moderate average traffic density, Hetnet solutions prevail homogeneous deployment due to their ability to increase the capacity with a relatively lower energy consumption and thus enable significant energy savings in medium and high capacity demand regions.
Moreover, we investigate the energy saving potential of short-term energy aware management approach, i.e., cell DTX, taking advantage of low resource utilization in the current networks arising from strict QoS requirements. With the help of developed novel quantitative method, we show that Cell DTX brings striking reduction in energy consumption and further savings are achievable if the networks are designed taking into account the fact that network deployment and operation are closely related.
Finally, we develop a general framework for investigating the main cost elements and for evaluating the viability of energy efficient solutions.We first reveal the strong positive impact of spectrum on both energy and infrastructure cost and further indicate that applying sustainable solutions might also bring total cost reduction, but the viability highly depends on unit cost values as well as the indirect cost benefits of energy efficiency.
Results obtained in this dissertation might provide guidelines for the network designers to achieve future high-capacity and sustainable wireless access networks.
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology , 2014. , xi, 58 p.
Energy Efficiency, Wireless Access Networks, Backhaul, Network Deployment, Power Consumption Model, Cell DTX, Cost Analysis