Energy savings in cellular networks

Energy consumption is a major concern among network operators. While studies show that the total energy consumption of telecommunications networks tend to remain constant despite a growth in subscribers and a higher growth in traffic, operators look at different solutions to minimize their energy consumption.

Modern mobile and cellular networks use various spectrum bands and smartphones can easily switch from one to the other without a significant impact on the communication. High frequency bands are usually used to provide more capacity while lower frequency bands provide coverage but with more limited capacity. A recent OpenSignal blog post analyzes how the Italian operators switch off their high frequency bands during the night without affecting user experience. This is particularly visible at night where there is few mobile traffic, but could be applied during other parts of the day as well. Enterprise networks could use similar techniques for their Wi-Fi network where all the frequency bands probably do not need to be enabled at night when there is no employee on site.

Italian operators reduce the 2100/2600 MHz bands during the night

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Written on June 24, 2023