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GREEN COMMUNICATION REPORT

EEE 491 Section 2

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Introduction: Global energy consumption and CO2 emission has increased dramatically. This excessiveness enhanced greenhouse effect which results in natural disasters throughout the world. Compared to others, telecommunication industry does not have the highest energy consumption or the maximum amount of CO2 emission. In [1], it is stated that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is responsible for about 2 % of the total CO2 emission. However, telecommunication industry consumes large amount of energy, which creates public and government pressure on them in order to increase their energy efficiency. In addition to reducing environmental effects, increasing energy efficiency will maintain profitability for the industry. With the introduction of mobile devices and the success of social networking, the demand for cellular traffic increased tremendously. Though the energy efficiency of the networks is improving with research, the increased number of subscriber in wireless networks requires more research on the green wireless communication. In this report, it is aimed to summarize the issues in green communications. Green Wireless Communication: Most of the research on wireless communication has been conducted about optimizing the spectrum efficiency and transmission reliability. Increasing demand for wireless traffic necessitates to consider energy efficiency due to environmental responsibilities and energy cost. The average energy efficiency of an overall wireless access network is roughly 70 bps/W, which is comparable with the ones in the fixed access networks. However, the routers (79 Mbps/W), optical core (166 Mbps/W) and switches (454 Mbps/W) consumes considerably higher energy. It is important to note that according to the Shannons information theory the minimum amount of energy required in wireless communication is by a factor of 25,000 smaller than the one in the current system [2]. Therefore, intensive study on the subject might result in significant drop in its energy consumption. In Figure 1, it is seen that power usage of base stations has a portion more than 50 % of overall power usage in a cellular network. Base stations consume so much energy. The number of base stations is more than 4 million and each consumes 25 MWh per year in average [1]. Besides, each year about 120,000 new base stations are installed in order to serve 300 to 400 new mobile phone users around the world [3].

Figure 1: The Distribution of Energy Consumption between the Cellular Network Elements [4] (ref. therein)

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Primarily a base station consists of the baseband unit, the radio and feeder networks. Among them the radio network consumes more than 80% and its 50% is consumed by the power amplifier units [2]. Therefore, decreasing the energy consumption of radio network might have significant drop in the energy consumption of the overall system. Some design parameters should be maintained while reducing the energy consumption. These trade-offs are listed below: Deployment Efficiency Energy Efficiency Trade-off Deployment cost includes capital expenditure (i.e. infrastructure cost) and operational expenditure (operation and maintenance cost). The expenditures and energy efficiency have opposite tendencies. For example, by increasing the number of base stations total network transmit power could be lessened but this deployment cost of the new base stations will be added [5]. Spectrum Efficiency Energy Efficiency Trade-off The transmission distance, modulation, coding scheme and so on have important impact on this tradeoff under practical concerns [6]. Bandwidth Consumption Power Consumption Trade-off In [6], the relation between transmit power and signal bandwidth is expressed as ( )

This implies a monotonic relation between power consumption and bandwidth. Delay Performance Power Consumption Trade-off End-to-end service delay should concern both channel and traffic uncertainties. Thus, the trade-off is more complicated requiring involvement of information theory and queuing theory [5]. In Figure 2, the sketch of these trade-offs could be seen.

Figure 2: Sketch of Trade-offs for Ideal Case and Under Practical Concerns [5].

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Architecture: By some smart changes in the architecture of a cellular network, the wireless communication could be greener technology. There are three main elements in a typical cellular network: a core network, base stations providing the radio frequency interface, and the mobile terminals. Locating at a fixed location, base stations serve radio networks over land areas called cells. Cells distributed over wide land areas provide radio coverage. This enables communication of portable transceivers in cellular network even if some of them move through the cells [7]. In a cellular network, base stations consume energy intensively. However, some research showed that this intensive power usage could be decreased. Base station hardware design: In [8], the authors emphasize that the power amplifier in the transmitter chain dominates the power usage of the base station. Required frequency band, used modulation and operating environment has an impact on the power efficiency of power amplifier units. Using different kind of linearization methods in hardware design such as Cartesian feedback, DSP pre-distortion and feed-forward may increase the power efficiency. Network self-organizing techniques: In [9], it is stated that 3GPP standard (3GPP TS 32.521) introduced self-organizing network concept in which network could optimize, reconfigure and heal itself in order to increase energy efficiency and network performance. In cellular networks, according to the estimated traffic load, cell sizes are designed fixed. Since the estimation based on the average, the fluctuations in the traffic load cause over loading and under loading effects on the base stations. Cell zooming introduced in [12] is a concept in which the cell sizes are adjusted according to the traffic load and user requirements. Zoom in and zoom out activities may be done by physical adjustment, base station cooperation or relaying. In Figure 3, the cell zooming activity of a base station is seen under different traffic loading scenarios.

Figure 3: a) Cells with fixed size; b) Central cell zooms in due to increased load; c) Central cell zooms out due to decreased load; d) Central cell switched off and neighboring cells zoom out; e) Central cell switched off and neighboring cells transmit cooperatively [12].

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Power saving protocols for sleep modes: It is important to note that the power efficiency of a digital circuit could be increased tremendously by proper programming rather than smart design which considers trade-offs due to design requirements. In other words, shutting down the base station during low traffic or idle stage will have significant impact on the power efficiency. In [11], the authors claim a complimentary method in which low utilized base stations are switched off based on store-carry and forward relaying paradigm. By scheduled program, the traffic of low utilized base stations could be moved to neighbor base stations, which enables them to be switched off without disturbing the network coverage. The numerical simulations of the method promise significant energy efficiency. Using renewable energy resource like sustainable biofuels, Solar Wind energy: Sometimes it is necessary to install base stations to rural areas where electrical grids are not available. In such situations, diesel powered generators are used to run the base station. In addition to costing so much, its use generates so much CO2 emission. Some environmental friendly solutions are necessary. Use of renewable energy resources like solar or wind energy is an important alternative. As stated in [1], the network operators are not keen to use renewable energy resources because of their expensive installation, however, Bi-annual Report November 2010 shows that it is an economically feasible solution since it paybacks less than three years [13]. Network Planning: In order to cover large areas, macrocells are used in cellular networks but they are not sufficient to provide high speed data-traffic. Decreasing the propagation distance between the nodes, a cellular network may sustain high data rates efficiently. A micro/picocell has smaller area coverage with low power consumption. Those could be used in dense traffic areas such as a shopping mall or a hotel. Their typical range is in the order of few hundred meters. Femtocells have far smaller coverage area so that they may be used in private homes or indoor areas. The networks in which macrocells and micro/picocell used together are called heterogeneous networks. In Figure 4, a typical heterogeneous network could be seen. However, coverage and performance estimation, interference and mobility management are some of the issues might be encountered in designing such networks [1].

Figure 4: A typical heterogeneous network [1]

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Communication system has a layered architecture which isolates layers from each other. This layered perspective brings in significant technical development, however, it has some drawbacks. By integrating the entire communications network from physical layer to medium access holistically, the industry may decrease the energy cost [5]. This approach called as cross-layer approach. In [14], the authors applied the cross-layer approach to 3G networks and the study showed that information exchange across protocol layers have better power efficiency. System Design Cognitive Radio: The cognitive radio is a smart wireless communication system which adapts to the variations in the environment for reliable communication with efficient use of the radio spectrum [15]. The cognitive radio is important for effective use of the spectrum because the allocated spectrum is highly underutilized. In [16], Shannon shows that there is a linear relation between capacity and bandwidth but the relation between power and bandwidth is logarithmic. In other words, by maximizing the bandwidth usage, we can minimize the power consumption. In addition to environmental friendliness, the cognitive radio provides the ability to transmit higher amounts of data [17]. Conclusion: Recent studies show that the energy efficiency has become a design requirement in most of the applications like wireless communication. With mobile devices and trend of social networking, wireless networks have become far more important. Its increased usage necessitates the research on energy efficient methods while sustaining high speed data transfer. After considering the trade-offs, it appears that there are so many approaches to minimize power consumption of wireless networks. Since most of the energy is consumed in base stations; hardware redesign, self-organized networks, use of renewable energy resources and power saving protocols can increase power efficiency. Additionally, heterogeneous networks or cross-layer approach could be used in network planning to drop the power consumption. Finally, cognitive radio is examined. Since it provides efficient use of the spectrum, it is a promising system for energy efficiency and highest data rates.

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