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Mobile communications are increasingly contributing to global energy consumption. In this article, a holistic approach for energy efficient mobile radio networks is presented. The matter of having appropriate metrics and evaluation methods that allow assessing the energy efficiency of the entire system is discussed. The mutual supplementary saving concepts comprise component, link and network levels. At the component level the power amplifier complemented by a transceiver and a digital platform supporting advanced power management are key to efficient radio implementations. Discontinuous transmission by base stations, where hardware components are switched off, facilitate energy efficient operation at the link level. At the network level, the potential for reducing energy consumption is in the layout of networks and their management, that take into account slowly changing daily load patterns, as well as highly dynamic traffic fluctuations. Moreover, research has to analyze new disruptive architectural approaches, including multi-hop transmission, ad-hoc meshed networks, terminal-to-terminal communications, and cooperative multipoint architectures.
Date of Publication: November 2010