5G Can Deliver Superior Service While Enabling Low-Energy Consumption
5G networks are currently reaching a nationwide scale in many developed markets, offering an enhanced user experience and higher data rates to consumers and enterprise users. The foundational technology for most of these 5G networks is massive Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MIMO) where Active Antenna Units (AAUs) are implementing beamforming to increase cell and system capacity by an order of magnitude as compared with non-massive MIMO systems. However, this comes at a cost in terms of both capital expenditure and energy.
To meet these high data requirements for 5G, networks will need more infrastructure, leading to an overall increase in network energy consumption. A typical 5G base station uses three times more energy than a 4G base station, partly because AAU represents a significant operational cost for operators. According to Huawei, a 64T64R active antenna unit could consume up to 2 kilowatts (kW) compared with an LTE radio unit that typically consumes approximately 800 watts. Infrastructure vendors are investing heavily in research and d…
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