Accelerating energy efficiency of mobile networks

Why is this gap important?

Global internet protocol (IP) traffic is increasing rapidly, and is expected to triple by 2022. This traffic is increasingly shifting to wireless and mobile: wireless and mobile devices expected to account for more than 70% of traffic by 2022, up from around half in 2018.

This shift toward greater use of mobile networks may have significant implications for energy use, given the considerably higher electricity intensities (kWh/GB) of mobile networks compared with fixed-line networks at current traffic rates.

Technology solutions

4G networks, which are around 50 times more energy efficient than 2G, are already widely deployed [TRL-11].

The first commercial 5G networks (and devices) will start rolling out in 2019 [TRL-9], which is widely expected to be around 10 times more efficient than 4G.

4G networks Readiness level:

5G networks Readiness level:

Colored bars represent the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of each technology. Learn more about TRLs