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Read more about 5G base station costs:

5G-era Mobile Network Cost Evolution

Source: GSM Association

Power Consumption: 5G Basestations Are Hungry, Hungry Hippos

Dan Jones (LightReading) March 2019

“Challenges of 5G deployment, according to Zhengmao Li, EVP China Mobile (biggest operator in the world).
1. 5G needs 3 X base stations for the same coverage as LTE due to higher frequencies
2. Power consumption of a 5G base station is 3 X LTE
3. 5G base station costs 4 X the price of LTE”

China Telecom plans 5X boost in 5G CAPEX

Robert Clark /Light Reading, March 2020

“China Telecom…. the operator, which has clocked up 10.73 million 5G subscribers, expects to spend  $6.4 billion  on 5G in 2020 – up from a thrifty $1.3 billion last year (2019).”

“….It built 40,000 5G base stations and co-shared another 20,000 with China Unicom in 2019, covering 50 cities under a network-sharing arrangement…..”

Sub-6 GHz mMIMO Base Stations Meet 5G’s Size and Weight Challenges

Walter Honcharenko, MACOM, February 13, 2019

“Operators will have to choose the best mix of options to deliver the new technology’s promised features and return on investments.”

“Next, 5G radio solutions available today are significantly more complex [3], requiring additional computational power for processing and antenna control. These solutions are 3–5× more power-hungry, requiring larger fins for passive cooling. All of this additional hardware comes at the cost of weight.”

“Increasing the number of antenna elements poses significant challenges to equipment manufacturers and operators.”

A Review of 5G Sub-6 GHz Base Station Antenna Design Challenges

Madiha Farasat, Dushmantha N. Thalakotuna, Zhonghao Hu, and Yang Yang

“In addition, the large number of RFICs and digital processing results in high power consumption. Even with the state-of-the-art efficient power amplifiers available in the sub-6 GHz bands, the thermal dissipation from processors and RFICs remains a significant challenge that needs to be addressed in the design. Thermal vias and thermal pads are necessary at the back of the RF and digital electronics to dissipate the heat in these antennas. The increased power consumption results in less value for money for the operators despite the capacity improvement.”

” Despite the high throughput advantage of these massive MIMO antennas, the extreme power consumption puts a significant loading on the electrical network. The operators cannot remove the existing 4G BSAs to reduce the power consumption since the current 5G massive MIMO antennas cannot still serve all the frequency bands”

Design of Energy and Cost Efficient Massive MIMO Arrays

A.Puglielli, A.Townley, G.Lacaille( Berkeley Wireless Research Center, CA, USA), 2017, IEEE Proceedings