University of Oulu

Huttunen, J., Parssinen, M., Heikkila, T., Salmela, O., Manner, J., & Pongracz, E. (2023). Base station energy use in dense urban and suburban areas. IEEE Access, 11, 2863–2874.

Base station energy use in dense urban and suburban areas

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Author: Huttunen, Jari1,2; Pärssinen, Matti3; Heikkilä, Tomi4;
Organizations: 1Nokia Oyj, 02610 Espoo, Finland
2Department of Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
3Department of Communications and Networking, Aalto University, 00076 Aalto, Finland
4Telia Company Ltd., 00520 Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-04-05


Growing energy consumption is a global problem. The information and communications technology (ICT) industry is in a critical role as an enabler of energy savings in other sectors. However, the power consumption of the ICT sector also needs to be addressed, to contribute to the overall reduction of power consumption and carbon emissions. A new era has begun as the fifth generation (5G) mobile data connection rollouts are advancing globally and are expected to reach a 10% share of end-user devices and connections by 2023. The available references on energy consumption in global mobile networks are rather old and highly averaged — only estimates of energy consumption relative to data volumes are available. There is an information gap regarding the energy consumption of emerging 5G and advanced 4G technologies. Therefore, it has been difficult to understand the actual electricity consumption differences between generations and spatially aggregated electricity consumption once these generations are combined to offer capacity and coverage. This article fills this gap by providing a reference on the energy consumption of base transceiver stations for reported mobile data usage for different Radio Access Technologies; 3G, 4G and 5G respectively. To the best of our knowledge, there is no reference to scientific research on the comparison of energy intensity per square kilometer for 3G, 4G and 5G mobile radio technologies, using actual operator data. The objective of this research was to improve the understanding of the actual energy consumption of different Radio Access Technologies (RAT). The results also give insight to decision makers on when to modernize the operator radio access network. The article reports on the results of field measurements on data and visitor volumes and shares of different RATs. The research contains two statistical RAT combination cases, one representing the European average and the other Finnish mobile networks. The analyses were done for dense urban (DU) and suburban (SU) areas.

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Series: IEEE access
ISSN: 2169-3536
ISSN-E: 2169-3536
ISSN-L: 2169-3536
Volume: 11
Pages: 2863 - 2874
DOI: 10.1109/ACCESS.2023.3234192
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
218 Environmental engineering
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. For more information, see