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Read more about 5G power consumption:

5G Power: Creating a green grid that slashes costs, emissions & energy use

Source: Chen Dongxu, Huawei, July 2020

“Over the past two decades tremendous progress has been made on the improvement of connection speed, while the energy-effectiveness improvement was very limited which led us to the challenge of choosing between a better connectivity for the whole society or a lower energy consumption of network infrastructure.”

“The power consumption of 5G hardware is between two and four times greater than 4G, posing unprecedented challenges for site infrastructure construction. It calls for systematic research and innovative 5G energy solutions to meet the energy challenges brought by 5G.”

“The growth of power consumption by 5G networks will trigger growth in energy consumption in general. In China, for example, total power consumption by telecom networks exceeds 50 billion kWh. Once 5G networks are deployed, the power consumption of telecoms networks in China will exceed an estimated 100 billion kWh, generating annual carbon emissions of 27.2 billion kg.”

The 5G Dilemma: More Base Stations, More Antennas—Less Energy?

Source: Dexter Johnson, 3.October 2018

5G towers are consuming a lot of energy, so China Unicom is putting some of them to sleep overnight

Source: Masha Borak (Abacus): 27 Aug. 2020.

“5G towers are consuming a lot of energy, so China Unicom is putting some of them to sleep overnight” 

Operators Starting to Face Up to 5G Power Cost

Robert Clark /Light Reading, Oct. 2019:

“The cost of the energy needed to power 5G is shaping up to be one of the biggest headaches for operators rolling out the new networks. Experts believe that a 5G network will consume three and half times as much electricity as 4G,….”

“… power consumption of 5G equipment in 3.5GHz, with 64T64R and massive MIMO, will be “300% to 350%” of a 4G base station…”

5G Base Station Power Consumption Issue -China article

Courtesy of Yigang Cai, (IEEE ComSoc Technology Blog); Aug. 2020

“…highlighted the critical issue of network operators shutting down 5G base stations to save electricity bills.  Selected 5G base stations in China are being powered off every day from 21:00 to the next day 9:00 to reduce energy consumption and lower electricity bills. 5G base stations are truly large consumers of energy such that electricity bills have become one of the biggest costs for 5G network operators.”

“The electricity bill is equivalent to several hundred times the annual profit of China Unicom. Even if it only covers 1% of the country’s area, electricity bills can bankrupt the three major operators.”

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

Source: Walter Honcharenko, MACOM: 13 Feb. 2019.

“Base station deployment and site acquisition constraints require smaller, lighter 5G massive MIMO (mMIMO) radios and antennas. Improved signal processing, high-efficiency devices, and integration from discrete lineups to front-end modules (FEM) make it possible.” 

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

Source: Madiha Farasat, Dushmantha N. Thalakotuna, Zhonghao Hu, Yang Yang, Electronics 2021: 19 Jul. 2021.

“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”