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SLEEP mode techniques for small cell deployments

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3 Author(s)

Big things come in small packages; a particularly apt description of small cell deployment in cellular networks. Small cells have a big role to play in orchestrating a cellular network that can overcome the explosive mobile traffic upsurge at little cost to the network operator. However, if left unchecked, a large-scale small cell deployment can substantially increase the network energy consumption with strong ecological and economic implications. In this article, we introduce energy-efficient SLEEP mode algorithms for small cell base stations in a bid to reduce cellular networks' power consumption. The designed algorithms allow the hardware components in the BS to be astutely switched off in idle conditions, such that the energy consumption is modulated over the variations in traffic load. Three different strategies for algorithm control are discussed, relying on small cell driven, core network driven, and user equipment driven approaches. Based on a mixed voice and data traffic model, the algorithms present energy saving opportunities of approximately 10-60 percent in the network with respect to no SLEEP mode activation in small cells, coupled with additional capacity incentives.

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Communications Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:49 ,  Issue: 8 )