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Energy Efficiency of Radio Units and its Impact on RAN Energy Consumption

Berglund, Thomas LU and Huynh, Helen LU (2017) EEM820 20172
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Abstract
As mobile telecommunications networks continue to grow, energy consumption continues to grow with it. This will without a doubt affect both the operational expense for network operators and the environment due to air pollution from power stations. As of today, a lot of radio units are consuming more power than necessarily, and with the growing industry this will have a substantial impact in the future. One way to address this issue is to make radio units more energy efficient. To approach this a study on Radio 2217, an Ericsson remote radio unit, was conducted. The study involved work on both hardware and software level. In order to test and evaluate the results a real LTE radio base station was set up. An LTE network was also modeled in... (More)
As mobile telecommunications networks continue to grow, energy consumption continues to grow with it. This will without a doubt affect both the operational expense for network operators and the environment due to air pollution from power stations. As of today, a lot of radio units are consuming more power than necessarily, and with the growing industry this will have a substantial impact in the future. One way to address this issue is to make radio units more energy efficient. To approach this a study on Radio 2217, an Ericsson remote radio unit, was conducted. The study involved work on both hardware and software level. In order to test and evaluate the results a real LTE radio base station was set up. An LTE network was also modeled in Matlab with the purpose to show how different power save features of radio units could reduce the energy consumption. The findings of this work shows that the existing power save implementations of the radio unit could definitely be improved. The power save features Cell-Sleep and MIMO-Sleep were improved by 36 % and 3.4 % respectively. It also showed that the energy consumption in a mobile network could be reduced by up to 57 % by modernizing hardware and adding power save features. (Less)
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During the last decades, mobile networks have continued to grow and are expected to grow even further with the introduction of Internet of Things and the next generation radio system named 5G. As the networks grow, energy efficiency and sustainability is becoming more and more interesting and necessary for the network operators. However, energy efficiency is an area often overlooked in favor of connectivity, throughput and availability when building mobile networks.

To see how we could increase the energy efficiency of radio units we studied both hardware and existing energy efficiency features to see if there were any possibilities to improve the current... (More)
Reducing the Environmental Impact From Mobile Telecommunication Networks

During the last decades, mobile networks have continued to grow and are expected to grow even further with the introduction of Internet of Things and the next generation radio system named 5G. As the networks grow, energy efficiency and sustainability is becoming more and more interesting and necessary for the network operators. However, energy efficiency is an area often overlooked in favor of connectivity, throughput and availability when building mobile networks.

To see how we could increase the energy efficiency of radio units we studied both hardware and existing energy efficiency features to see if there were any possibilities to improve the current implementations. Due to our time limit we quickly realized we could not do any hardware changes in the means of changing components for more efficient ones, for example by introducing more efficient transistors in the power amplifier. Instead, our focus became trying to improve the current power save features that were implemented in the radio. We focused mainly on two features, one which during low traffic scenarios turns off one of the transmitter branches to save power, and one feature that basically powers down the radio when there is no need for the radio to transmit nor receive.

The focus on the features became trying to turn off excess components that were not used, but still powered on and consuming power. To do this we set up a complete end-to-end system with real mobile phones connected to a real base station which was based LTE technology. This gave us full control over the system to test the features and to control the radio unit.

A novel approach used to identify components that were consuming power was to look at the circuit board with a thermal camera to find “hot spots”, i.e. components that were consuming power. This helped us identify what we should focus on and proved to be good at visualizing the results.

By the end of our work we managed to reduce the power consumption in the features by 36 % and 3.4 % respectively. We also created a model to show how new hardware and activation of power save features impacted the energy consumption of a realistic LTE network. It is shown in the model that by replacing old hardware by new modern hardware and activating and using power save features more often, the energy consumption can be reduced by up to 57 %. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Berglund, Thomas LU and Huynh, Helen LU
supervisor
organization
course
EEM820 20172
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Energy efficiency, telecommunications, LTE, mobile networks
language
English
additional info
2017-17
id
8925807
date added to LUP
2017-09-19 11:08:16
date last changed
2017-09-19 11:39:36
@misc{8925807,
  abstract     = {As mobile telecommunications networks continue to grow, energy consumption continues to grow with it. This will without a doubt affect both the operational expense for network operators and the environment due to air pollution from power stations. As of today, a lot of radio units are consuming more power than necessarily, and with the growing industry this will have a substantial impact in the future. One way to address this issue is to make radio units more energy efficient. To approach this a study on Radio 2217, an Ericsson remote radio unit, was conducted. The study involved work on both hardware and software level. In order to test and evaluate the results a real LTE radio base station was set up. An LTE network was also modeled in Matlab with the purpose to show how different power save features of radio units could reduce the energy consumption. The findings of this work shows that the existing power save implementations of the radio unit could definitely be improved. The power save features Cell-Sleep and MIMO-Sleep were improved by 36 % and 3.4 % respectively. It also showed that the energy consumption in a mobile network could be reduced by up to 57 % by modernizing hardware and adding power save features.},
  author       = {Berglund, Thomas and Huynh, Helen},
  keyword      = {Energy efficiency,telecommunications,LTE,mobile networks},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Energy Efficiency of Radio Units and its Impact on RAN Energy Consumption},
  year         = {2017},
}