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Talking about the energy consumption of 5G network

As network operators start 5G services one after another, users around the world can enjoy the benefits brought by the new generation of mobile networks. Users can obtain higher bandwidth, lower latency and more advanced mobile communication services through 5G networks, but they also have to pay a corresponding price while obtaining these benefits. For ordinary users, this only means that the price of communication services will increase, but for network operators, the purchase and operation costs of communication equipment will almost increase exponentially or several times.

In addition to the cost of new communication equipment, there will be a corresponding increase in actual operating expenses due to the fact that 5G networks require more electricity than 4G networks. According to industry statistics, the power demand of 5G networks will increase by nearly 70%. For example, an existing 4G base station consumes about 7 kW of power, while a 5G base station will consume more than 11 kW of power. However, for a site with multiple channels, the actual power requirement may reach 20 kW.


In theory, 5G has higher efficiency and consumes less energy per unit bit of data, but the increase in network capacity still leads to a net increase in the total power consumption of the system. One of the reasons for this is due to the topology of the network, which uses multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) antennas on a large scale, which greatly increases the number of transceivers. The technical term used here is 64T64R, which means there are 64 transmitters and 64 receivers, and if you compare it to a commonly used 4T4R 4G base station, you can clearly see where too much power is being consumed.

In fact, some operators are considering reducing the number of transceivers to 32T32R or 16T16R, thereby reducing the capacity of the entire network to reduce the ever-increasing power consumption. Although this can alleviate the energy consumption problem to a certain extent, it will also reduce the performance of the mobile network accordingly.

Compared with the previous 3G and 4G networks, 5G networks require more base stations. On the one hand, this is because higher bandwidth requires greater capacity, and because the propagation distance of wavelengths used in 5G networks is shorter, requiring corresponding More base stations will be deployed, and in order to provide wider coverage, more 5G base stations will also need to be deployed in densely populated urban areas, rural and remote areas. The resulting increase in actual power consumption costs is very considerable, further pushing up operating costs.

As we all know, the communication industry has achieved the standardization of 3 kW 48V DC power supply equipment. Now, since the total power demand of 5G networks will at least double, operators also need to greatly increase the power density of power supply equipment, so that they can use existing cables including cables. There is mainstream infrastructure to deliver higher power in the same size space.