Energy-Aware Technology Comparisons for 5G Mobile Fronthaul Networks

Line Maria Pyndt Larsen, Michael Stübert Berger, Henrik Lehrmann Christiansen

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Communication networks are not only important to society, they also consume a lot of energy. Recent years research has focused on Cloud-Radio Access Network (C-RAN) to decrease the energy consumption of mobile networks. Hence, this work investigates how to lower the energy consumption in the fronthaul network by choosing the right C-RAN functional split and the right type of fronthaul network. Different functional splits assign different loads to the fronthaul network, and this work considers how much impact the data load has on the fronthaul network’s energy consumption. At the same time different types of fronthaul network impact the energy consumption in different ways. The paper provides models to be used for calculating the energy consumption in different network types and for the choice of different functional splits. Results show huge differences in energy consumption between especially wired and wireless technologies. Considering the same functional split, the difference between the most energy
consuming transport technology and the least energy consuming is 99.5% for LTE and 99.6% for 5G. For the Ethernet overlay
alone, the difference in energy consumption between the, with regard to energy consumption, best and worst case scenario is 99.3% per switch.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal On Advances in Networks and Services
Issue number1&2
Pages (from-to)21 - 32
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Energy consumption
  • Green networking
  • Ethernet
  • Fronthaul
  • C-RAN
  • Functional split
  • 5G
  • PON
  • PtP
  • CWDM


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