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The rapidly increasing contribution towards global warming from the information communication technology (ICT) sector is a clear indication of the need for energy efficient green communication networks. For instance, in the case of cellular networks, over 80% of the total energy is consumed at the access network. On the other hand, incorporating self-sustainability and autonomy in its operation, control, and maintenance is significantly vital due to relatively larger sizes, higher complexities, and dynamic behaviors of future networks than those of current networks. In this paper, with the inspiration from the ecological principle of protocooperation, a novel energy efficient cellular access network architecture is proposed. With the adoption of the wake-up technology, base transceiver stations (BTSs) are made to protocooperate with each other to achieve higher energy efficiency within a cellular access network. Protocooperation is one of the ecological interactions by which two interacting species gain benefit through cooperation. However, this type of cooperation is not compulsory for the survival of any of these two species. To accomplish less energy consumption and higher self-sustainability at the access network, BTSs cooperatively and dynamically switch between active and sleep modes depending on the current traffic situation. The extent of self-sustainability incorporated in the proposed architecture is studied and analyzed. As per the result, our proposed architecture and algorithm are capable of achieving a significant amount of energy saving, which is an important step towards a self-sustainable green communication system.