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The power consumption of wireless access networks will become an important issue in the coming years. In this study, the power consumption of base stations for mobile WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access), fixed WiMAX, UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System), HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) and LTE (Long-Term Evolution) is modelled and related to the coverage. A new metric, the power consumption per covered area PCarea, is introduced, to compare the energy efficiency of the considered technologies for a basic reference configuration and a future extended configuration, which makes use of novel Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology. The introduction of MIMO has a positive influence on the energy efficiency: for example, for a 4×4 MIMO system, PCarea decreases with 63% for mobile WiMAX and with 50% for HSPA and LTE, compared to a Single Input Single Ouptut (SISO) system. However, a higher MIMO array size (i.e. a higher number of transmitting and receiving antennas) does not always result in a higher energy efficiency gain.