Heterogeneous network (HetNet) deployment strategies are one of the options that can be used to reduce the power consumption in wireless mobile networks, particularly in those scenarios where the capacity requirements over a geographical area are not uniformly distributed. The key rationale behind this technique is to tailor the network deployment to the expected traffic levels, i.e., to provide coverage via macro base stations and to guarantee high capacity only where it is needed via, micro, pico and/or femto cells (Figure 1).
On the other hand it has been shown that the relative impact of the backhaul power consumption is non-negligible in those wireless access scenarios with an increasing number of small (low power) base stations. This means that the total power consumption of a HetNet deployment to a larger degree is affected by the choice of the backhaul architecture and technology. This is the reason why to get a holistic understanding of how to achieve a truly green and converged broadband access segment a series of questions need to be answered.
There are several technology options for backhauling, i.e., fiber, microwave and/or copper, with their pros and cons. On the other hand is it not yet clear which of these options would be the best in terms of energy efficiency, where the “best” backhaul architecture may not necessarily have to rely on one single technology, but may as well be the result of a mix of them.
The focus of this project is to first to understand how different backhaul technologies and architectures may affect the total backhaul power consumption and then to apply this knowledge to develop HetNet deployment strategies for the overall broadband segment where the objective is to minimize the total power consumed by the mobile wireless access, and the backhaul segments combined.