Link Level Resource Allocation Strategies for Green Communications in LTE-Advanced

Link Level Resource Allocation Strategies for Green Communications in LTE-Advanced

Prashant Kallappa Wali (International Institute of Information Technology, India), Amudheesan Aadhithan N (International Institute of Information Technology, India) and Debabrata Das (International Institute of Information Technology, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2023-8.ch006
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Mobile operators are showing a growing concern for energy efficiency in cellular networks in the recent past not only to maintain profitability, but also to tackle the overall environment effects. Such a trend is motivating the standardization bodies, network operators and researchers to aggressively explore techniques to reduce the energy consumption in the network. This trend has stimulated the interest of researchers in an innovative new research area called green cellular networks which is a vast research discipline that needs to cover all the layers of the protocol stack and various system architectures. Since Long Term Evolution-Advanced (LTE-A), which promises better support to richer applications, is fast emerging as the next generation cellular network standard and expected to aggravate the energy consumption problem, various techniques have been proposed and researched to improve its energy efficiency. This chapter discusses three link level techniques that attempt to reduce the energy consumption of a LTE-A cell with intelligent MAC layer algorithms.
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The last decade has not only seen a phenomenal rise in the number of cellular subscribers but also in their demand for data. Accordingly, it has resulted in an explosive expansion and growth in the cellular networks. It is estimated that there were more than 4 million base stations (BSs) serving mobile users and this number is predicted to keep increasing in the years to come (Hasan, 2011). This enormous growth in the cellular industry has pushed the limits of energy consumption in wireless networks. Also, the emergence of the LTE-A promises to offer better support to richer applications through enhanced data rates is expected to act as a catalyst for the explosive growth in the number of subscribers and their demand for traffic. This will result in a substantial increase in the number of base stations and also the power they consume, further aggravating the energy consumption problem. Hence, there is an acute need to introduce power saving mechanisms in LTE-A to mitigate the energy consumption.

The breakdown of power consumption in a typical cellular network shows that the base stations (called as eNodeB in LTE-A and henceforth shall be interchangeably called as eNodeBs) consume up to 60% of the total power and the rest is divided between mobile switching centers, data centers and core transmission equipments (Hasan, 2011). Since eNodeBs have the biggest share of the energy consumption in cellular networks, it is necessary to identify the elements in the eNodeBs which contribute most to the overall energy consumption. From the power consumption point of view, there are two groups to which the elements of a eNodeB can belong to:

  • 1.

    Radio frequency equipment (which includes power amplifiers and transceivers), which serve one or more sectors/cells.

  • 2.

    Support system which includes alternate current/direct current (AC/DC) power conversion modules, air conditioning elements, analog and digital signal processors, battery backup, etc.

The largest energy consumer in the eNodeB is the power amplifier (PA), which has a share of around 65% of the total energy consumption (Chen, 2010). Of the other base station elements, significant energy consumers are: air conditioning (17.5%), digital signal processing (10%) and AC/DC conversion elements (7.5%) (Correia, 2010).

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