Legacy Vs. Open RAN: Power Consumption In 5G Radios

Price: Starting at USD 0
Publish Date: 04 Dec 2023
Code: WP-1030
Research Type: Whitepaper
Pages: 16
Legacy Vs. Open RAN: Power Consumption In 5G Radios
Open RAN is picking up traction and commercial interest in 2023, as operators consider implementing the technology for their new and existing 5G networks. In the meantime, 5G deployments have matured in consumer markets and mobile operators are looking toward their next wave of monetization, given 5G's global reach.
Sustainability is also becoming a critical topic, and the balance of upholding both 5G performance standards and sustainability standards can sometimes be at odds. The entire telecoms supply chain is now aiming to optimize power consumption of all equipment, with the RAN being the most power-hungry part of the network, due to its distributed and technical nature.
In 5G RAN, the radio itself consumes most of the energy, often 70% to 80% of total
RAN energy expenditure according to many European mobile operators. This is a prime area for optimization, where multiple initiatives have been designed and implemented to reduce its impact. 
While Open RAN equipment is becoming more commercially available, energy consumption is not yet a buzzworthy topic, perhaps due to the dominance of legacy infrastructure vendors and Open RAN radios not yet deployed on a large scale. This study focuses on the radio layer, aiming to compare both radios (Remote Radio Units) (RRUs)) and Massive MIMO units (Active Antenna Units (AAUs)).