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Open Access Research

Evaluation of the potential for energy saving in macrocell and femtocell networks using a heuristic introducing sleep modes in base stations

Willem Vereecken*, Margot Deruyck, Didier Colle, Wout Joseph, Mario Pickavet, Luc Martens and Piet Demeester

Author Affiliations

Ghent University - IBBT; Department of Information Technology (INTEC), Internet Based Communication Networks and Services - Wireless & Cable, Gaston Crommenlaan 8, bus 201, B-9050 Ghent, Belgium

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EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking 2012, 2012:170  doi:10.1186/1687-1499-2012-170

Published: 15 May 2012


In mobile technologies two trends are competing. On the one hand, the mobile access network requires optimisation in energy consumption. On the other hand, data volumes and required bit rates are rapidly increasing. The latter trend requires the deployment of more dense mobile access networks as the higher bit rates are available at shorter distance from the base station. In order to improve the energy efficiency, the introduction of sleep modes is required. We derive a heuristic which allows establishing a baseline of active base station fractions in order to be able to evaluate mobile access network designs. We demonstrate that sleep modes can lead to significant improvements in energy efficiency and act as an enabler for femtocell deployments.