energy infrastucture

5G networks are up to 90% more energy efficient per traffic unit than 4G networks, according to a new 5G energy efficiency study from Nokia and Telefonica.

5G technology is mostly known for being faster and having lower latency in comparison with previous generation wireless technology, but the new research shows it has other benefits as well.

During a three-month period, Nokia and Telefonica tested 11 different pre-defined traffic load scenarios measuring energy consumption per Mbps. 5G radio access network (RAN) technology was found to be far more efficient than legacy technologies thanks to hardware and software designed specifically to be more energy efficient.

The tests used on-site base station energy consumption readings based on traffic load scenarios from 0 to 100%. The tests also monitored actual power consumption through the network management systems.

According to a Nokia press release about 5G energy efficiency, “5G is a natively greener technology with more data bits per kilowatt of energy than any previous wireless technology generation. However, 5G networks require further action to enhance energy efficiency and minimize CO2 emissions that will come with exponentially increased data traffic. There are several energy saving features at the radio base station and network levels, such as 5G power saving features, small cell deployments and new 5G architecture and protocols, which can be combined to significantly improve the energy efficiency of wireless networks.”

“Our greatest contribution to overcoming the world’s sustainability challenges is through the solutions and technology we develop and provide,” said Tommi Uitto, Nokia president of mobile networks, in a prepared statement.

He added that “This important study highlights how mobile operators can offset energy gains during their rollouts helping them to be more environmentally responsible while allowing them to achieve significant cost savings.”

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