1st IEEE International Symposium on Telecommunication Technologies

Energy Efficiency of LTE Macro Base Station
David Chieng3, Alvin Ting3, Abdulaziz M. Ghaleb3

Ayad Atiyah Abdulkafi1,3*, Tiong Sieh Kiong1,
Johnny Koh2


Wireless Communication Cluster,
MIMOS Berhad
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
{ht.chieng, kee.ting, abdulaziz.saleh}@mimos.my


Power Engineering Center, Center of System and Machine
Intelligence, Universiti Tenaga Nasional
Selangor, Malaysia
al.ayad@yahoo.com, siehkiong@uniten.edu.my

reassigning the users to various LTE BSs in order to decide if a
certain BS can be switched off or not [6].
However, the benefits of the network planning of green
communications in LTE are not sufficiently investigated in the
literature and are not specifically dedicated to LTE networks
[6]. Our recent work in [7] presents an analysis of parameters
that are affecting the cell coverage area of macrocell network
as well as the relationship between area power consumption,
transmission range and these parameters. Thus, this research
extends the energy efficiency analysis by studying the impact
of modulation and coding scheme MCS, channel bandwidth
BW and transmit power Ptx on energy efficiency and cell size
of LTE macro base station. The reminder of this paper is
organized as follows. Section II presents the system models.
The simulation setup and results are presented in Section III.
Finally, conclusion is drawn in Section IV.

Abstract— The growing energy consumption in wireless networks
driven by dramatic increases in mobile users and network traffic,
are putting mobile operators under immense challenges towards
meeting the demands of both cost reduction and environment
conservation. The network Energy Efficiency (EE) considers not
only energy consumed by the base station (BS), but also the
capacity and coverage of the network. In this paper we study the
impact of modulation and coding schemes (MCS), bandwidth
(BW) size and transmitted power on the energy efficiency of a
LTE macro base station. Although it is very much expected that
higher transmission power results in lower EE, the difference
actually diminishes when cell size increases. At around 1200m it
is found that the EE are almost equal for all transmission power
considered. On the other hand, EE increases significantly as the
BW increases. Similar effect on EE is observed when MCS
changes from lower order to higher order scheme. In fact EE
becomes more sensitive to MCS change at higher bandwidth.

Keywords-component; energy efficiency; LTE; macro base
staion; MCS ; cell size


A. Propagation Model
In general, there are three different factors that cause the
deterioration of signal quality due to propagation namely path
loss, shadowing and multi path. A basic signal propagation
model capturing path loss as well as shadowing is formulated
as [8] 
§ r ·
Prx K ¨ ¸ < Ptx
¨r ¸
© o¹


The number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the
number of people on earth by the end of 2012 and by 2016
there will be 1.4 mobile devices per capita. Mobile data traffic
will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 78
percent from 2011 to 2016 [1]. The growing energy
consumption in wireless networks driven by these dramatic
increases in mobile users and network traffic are putting mobile
operators under immense challenges towards meeting the
demands of both cost reduction and environment conservation.
[2]. Energy efficiency improvement is seen as a key to reduce
the operational costs and environmental impact. Energy
savings in the radio access network is largely achieved by
automatically adapting the network capacity to the real traffic
demand at a given time period [3]. An overview of some
promising approaches and methods for improving the energy
efficiency in cellular network is provided in [4]. In [5] a high
level overview of the possible energy efficiency improvement
methods in LTE is presented. It was shown that the main
problem of energy consumption in a radio base station of a
wireless access system is the energy scaling traffic load
problem [5]. Energy savings can be achieved by switching off
the base stations BSs with low load; this can be performed after
*Corresponding Author

978-1-4673-4786-0/12/$31.00 ©2012 IEEE


where Ptx, Prx, r, and Į denote transmit and receive power,
propagation distance, and path loss exponent, respectively. The
random variable ȥ is used to model slow fading effects and
commonly follows a log-normal distribution, i.e., the variable
10 log10 ȥ follows a normal distribution. The terms K and ro
denote parameters to further adapt the model. K is a unitless
constant that models the impact of base station and mobile
terminal antenna heights, carrier frequency, propagation
conditions, penetration loss due to transmission from outdoor
to indoor and the antenna pattern. The antenna pattern depends
on the mobile’s location relative to the base station. While the
propagation model (1) is suitable for analytical assessment, we
employ propagation models presented in [9] for our simulation.
These more realistic models incorporate path loss dependency
on carrier frequency, line of sight (LOS) conditions as well as
shadowing deviations.


g.75) and ȘSNR = 1. and Prx(R) is the received power at the cell boundary due to path loss alone. is represented by: B. the average power consumption of a base station is modeled as a linear function of average radiated power which is given by: N sec N ant ( Ai Ptx  Bi ) SNR where ȘBW accounts for the system bandwidth efficiency of LTE and ȘSNR accounts for the SNR implementation efficiency of LTE. Pci K BW K BW log 2 (1  (4) Where Nsec and Nant denote the BS’s number of sectors and the number of antennas per sector. Note that a=0. The throughput will be equal to or higher than 95% of the maximum throughput for a specified reference measurement channel and can be expressed as [3] Pmin kTB  NF  SINR  IM  Gd (3) III. The impact of these parameters on coverage and energy efficiency is shown for different modulation and coding schemes.D.5 m. NF is the prescribed maximum noise figure for the receiver.6 GHz spectrum band is used since this is the band allocated to future LTE operators in Malaysia [14]. the parameters that are affecting the cell size and the energy efficiency of LTE macro BS are investigated. Cell Coverage Area The coverage of a cellular system is generally designed for a given minimum received power Pmin at the cell boundary. where BW = NRB * 180 (kHz) in LTE. The Pmin. where Pmin  Prx ( R) a V <dB . b 10 D log10 (e) V <dB RT The receiver sensitivity Pmin is the minimum power received at which a throughput requirement is fulfilled. K SNR ) (6) SIMULATION SETUP AND RESULTS In this section.. multiplying the ȘBW parameter. respectively. site cooling.g. 260 . NRB is the number of resource blocks (RB) and 180 kHz is the bandwidth of one RB.. SINR is the signal to interference plus noise ratio requirement for the chosen modulation and coding scheme (MCS). Where kTB represents the thermal noise level in a specified noise bandwidth BW. The pathloss model and simulation parameters follow that in 3GPP TR 36. The parameters are based on 3GPP recommended urban macrocell model with a carrier frequency of 2. Pc and Ptx denote the average total power per base station and the power fed to the antenna. which is also known as the receiver sensitivity can be written in closed-form for cell coverage area C as [8]: C § 2  2ab · § 2  ab · Q( a )  exp ¨ ¸ ¸ Q¨ © b2 ¹ © b ¹ EE (2) Total amount data delivered Total power consumed RT PCT (5) Where PCT is the total power consumed and RT is the total data rate which can be calculated using the modified Shannon’s formula as [12]. It is worth mentioning that we use Ș = 0.6~2 dB off from the Shannon capacity bound because the ȘSNR is not constant and changes with the geometry factor (Gfactor). The proposed simulation model for evaluating the EE in LTE macro BS is shown in Fig. Effective environment height (which is subtracted from the actual antenna height for BS and User Equipment UE to find their effective antenna heights) and standard deviation of shadow fading are assumed to be equal to 1m and 4 dB respectively. signal processing. 1 C. The value of Gd depends on the specific implementation and the propagation conditions and 3 dB is used as an example in this paper. It was shown that this impact can be accounted for using the fudge factor. IM is the implementation margin and the Gd represents the diversity gain [3].9 (ȘBW. It should be noted that LTE is performing less than 1. Ș. The cell size is determined according to minimum received power level constraints. A. Power Models In [10]. Energy Efficiency Energy efficiency (EE). ıȥG% is the standard deviation of shadow fading [8]. which are given in Table I. The coefficient Ai accounts for the part of the power consumption that is proportional to the transmitted power (e. The 2. which is defined as the ratio of total amount data delivered and the total power consumed measured in bits per joule [11]. backhaul) [10]. Ș = 0. respectively. radio frequency (RF) amplifier power including feeder losses). Simulation Setup We assume a single LTE macro base station that covers a hexagonal shaped area.814 [9].6 GHz. antenna height of 25 m and user height of 1. Pmin =Prx(R).0 for our simulation [13]. while Bi denotes the power that is consumed independent of the average transmit power (e. when the target minimum received power equals the average power at the cell boundary. The receiver sensitivity is calculated based on sufficient SINR for the specified modulation scheme to achieve a minimum requirement of 95% coverage degree.

r. SINR_ requirement) Calculate the receiver sensitivity. Pmin. NF. Ptx.6 GHz Macro propagation model Urban macro (UMa) [8] Penetration loss 20 dB Macro antenna pattern (horizontal) Initiate the cell radius. for LTE macro BS Read the required link budget parameters U UǻU Parameter Carrier frequency ª § M A M . by eq. SIMULATION PARAMETERS Start Define the simulation parameters BW.TABLE I. (3) based on BW and MCS Value 2.

45. 64QAM) offers a higher bit rate but is more prone to errors due to its higher sensitivity to interference. e.  min «12¨¨ «¬ © M3dB ij3dB=70 degrees. the code rate can be chosen depending on the radio link conditions a lower code rate can be used in poor channel conditions and a higher code rate in the case of high SINR C >=95% No Set r= r-ǻU. while 3 dB and 4 dB are generally expected for 16QAM and 64QAM respectively. 2) Yes less than 17.e.g. These EVM values are designed to correspond to no more than a 5% loss in average and cell-edge throughputs in typical deployment scenarios.5 dB is assumed for all QPSK modes. However.5% for 16QAM and 8% for 64QAM. Find the power consumed by eq. (6) Compute the EE based on eq. For instance. (4) Calculate achievable data rate by eq.1. computed on the transport blocks) probability not exceeding 10% [3]. (5) End Fig. the base station typically selects the Modulation and Coding Scheme (MCS) depending on the Channel Quality Indicator (CQI) feedback characteristics of the UE’s receiver. more bits per modulated symbol. Loworder modulation such as QPSK is more robust and can tolerate higher levels of interference but provides a lower transmission bit rate. the code rate can be chosen depending on the radio link conditions: a lower code rate can be used in poor channel conditions and a higher code rate in the case of high SINR. the typical assumptions for the SINR values for different modulation and coding schemes that are used in our simulation assumptions equal the ones in [3] which are summarized in Table II. For a given modulation. average SNR tables or by using the Alpha-Shannon formula.44 Find the received signal power and the coverage degree. the Error Vector Magnitude (EVM) (which is equivalent to an SNR loss) is required to be 261 . then compute the maximum cell size for LTE macro BS . it is therefore useful only when the SINR is sufficiently high. Am » »¼ ¹ Ai= 21. Flow chart of the proposed simulation model Requirements for the demodulation error rate of the different modulation and coding schemes will be defined in LTE specifications. High-order modulation (i. An extra Implementation Margin (IM) is added to reflect the difference in SINR requirement between theory and practicable implementation. for a given modulation. Bi= 354. C 95% Power consumption parameters for macro BS 2 º · ¸¸ . by eq. noise and channel estimation errors.5% for QPSK. SINR requirement can be estimated by using the throughput vs. (1. C. IM of 2. The UE reports the highest MCS that it can decode with a BLER (Block Error Rate. Am = 25dB Thermal noise -174dBm/Hz Noise figure 9 dB Shadowing standard deviation 4 dB Coverage degree. For the downlink data transmissions in LTE. On other hand. 12.

the cell size of LTE macro BS decreases as the MCS moves from QPSK to the higher QAM. 3.9 QPSK 1/4 -1. Thus these SINR requirements can be used in the first phase of network to estimate the cell radius of LTE macro BS.5 64-QAM 4/5 18. In addition.73km2 with its lowest rate. Furthermore for a fixed transmission power and a certain channel bandwidth. b) B.8 64-QAM 2/3 15. the required SINR depends on the MCS where higher the MCS used. SINR requirement versus macro cell radius with Ptx=46dBm and BW=10MHz The lowest rate QPSK can support a cell size up to 9km2 and the maximum cell size within 16-QAM is about 1. EE is decreased as the transmission range increases. 4 shows the EE as a function of cell radius of LTE macro BS for different transmission powers at fixed BW and MCS.3 QPSK 3/4 5.e. the cell coverage area decreases as the SINR requirement increases.6 1600 Macro Cell Radius (m) 1400 1200 1000 800 600 0 -10 -6 -4 -2 0 2 4 6 8 10 SINR Requirment (dB) 12 14 16 18 20 Fig. 10 9 8 2 Macro Cell Size(km ) 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 1 1/8 2 1/5 3 1/4 4 1/3 5 1/2 QPS K 6 2/3 7 3/4 8 4/5 9 1/2 10 2/3 11 3/4 16QAM 12 4/5 13 2/3 14 3/4 15 4/5 64QAM Modulation and Coding Schemes Fig. DOWNLINK SINR REQUIREMENTS FOR LTE 2000 1800 Modulation Code Rate SINR (dB) QPSK 1/8 -5.2 16-QAM 4/5 12.2. MCS and BW on the EE of LTE macro BS.1 QPSK 1/5 -2.9km2 while the 64-QAM can only support a cell size less than 0. It is clear that for a fix transmitted power and certain BW. the cell size of LTE macro BS decreases as the MCS transit from QPSK to the higher QAM. Subsequently. Figure 2 shows the LTE macro cell radius as function of the SINR requirement. Simulation Results a) -8 Energy Efficiency of LTE Macro BS: This section shows the impact of transmitted power. we can observe that the larger the SINR requirement the smaller is the cell radius.3 64-QAM 3/4 17.2. Fig. MCS-cell size relationship with Ptx=46dBm and BW=10MHz 262 .7 QPSK 1/3 -1 QPSK 1/2 2 QPSK 2/3 4.5 400 QPSK 4/5 6.9 16-QAM 2/3 11.3 16-QAM 3/4 12. Increasing transmission power always increases the cell coverage area (cell size) but not necessarily EE. From Fig. 3. LTE Macro BS Cell Size : The cell radius of LTE macro BS is calculated to achieve minimum coverage degree of 95% based on the required SINR and the receiver sensitivity as well as MCS. using QPSK will have a lower required SINR than 16-QAM. the lower MCSs can support wider coverage area than the higher MCSs i. For instance.2 200 16-QAM 1/2 7. higher the required SINR and vice versa.TABLE II. The relationship between the MCS and cell size of LTE macro BS is shown in Fig.

This is because of using more bandwidth is not only beneficial for enhancing the capacity of the network but also improving the energy efficiency of the wireless transmission. Figure 5 illustrates the impact of bandwidth allocation and MCS selection on the expected and achievable energy efficiency in LTE macro BS. table III summarizes the values of EE that can be achieved at cell edge by selecting the various MCS for different bandwidths. the transmission ranges for LTE macro BS are 1761. the EE decreases because of increasing in the operational power consumption while the cell size increases due to increasing the received power. Approximately between 7001000 bits/joule EE gain per MHz can be observed for 1/3- 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 20 15 10 BW (MHz) 5 3 1. In general. 5. On the other hand.5. For instance.5 bits/joule for transmission power of 49dBm and 9424. the value of the EE depends on the selected MCS as well as BW. Overall.64QAM.4MHz BW=3MHz BW=5MHz BW=10MHz BW=15MHz BW=20MHz 16000 14000 10000 EE (Bits/Joule) EE (Bits/Joule) 12000 8000 6000 10000 8000 6000 4000 4000 2000 0 200 2000 400 600 800 1000 1200 Macro Cell Radius (m) 1400 1600 0 1800 Fig. increasing the bandwidth helps improve the energy efficiency within the same MCS and cell radius. The energy efficiency performance versus the cell radius for different bandwidths is shown in Fig. it is shown that when the transmit power of macro BS is fixed. the energy efficiencies for LTE macro BS are 6137. different MCS are available which differ from each other from data rate and error protection perspectives. at cell radius of 288m and for a fixed MCS with 1/3-QPSK at 10 MHz. However. EE vs. Besides. QPSK and between 650-950 bits/joule EE gain per MHz for 3/4 . Cell Edge EE (Bits/Joule) Also. Different operator requirements may lead to different MCS approach selection. Fig. EE as a function of MCS and BW 263 . For example.288m. 46 and 43 dBm respectively.e. at cell radius of 288 m. maximum energy efficiency is achieved by tuning the power according to the rate or SINR requirements of the system.4MHz bandwidth it is smaller than 2000 bits/joule under the same transmitted power and MCS.6 bits/joule for 46dBm while it is up to 12967 bits/joule with 43dBm transmission power. 4. the selection of the appropriate MCS is an operator-dependent issue. The goal of the optimization is to find the MCS that yields the highest energy efficiency. In LTE. it can be noted that the effect of transmission power variation on EE starts to decrease as cell radius increases and the effect of different transmission powers on EE becomes almost the same at cell radius around 1200 m. Furthermore. macro cell radius for different Ptx with BW=10MHz and MCS : 1/3-QPSK 0 250 500 750 1000 1250 1500 1750 Macro Cell Radius (m) 2000 2250 2500 Fig. the EE that can be achieved at 20MHz is more than 16000 bits/joule while for 1. 5 and table III show the importance of bandwidth and MCS selection on energy efficiency. 1484 and 1247 meters for transmission powers of 49. EE vs. around 3kbits/Joule drop is observed per 3dB increase in transmit power increase. 6.4 4/5-64QAM 3/4-64QAM 2/3-64QAM 4/5-16QAM 3/4-16QAM 2/3-16QAM 1/2-16QAM 4/5-QPSK 3/4-QPSK MCS 2/3-QPSK 1/2-QPSK 1/3-QPSK 1/4-QPSK 1/5-QPSK 1/8-QPSK Fig. high-bandwidth can be more energy-efficient than the low-bandwidth within the same coverage area size because the high bandwidth can support more resource blocks and more data rate can be achieved.18000 14000 Ptx=43dBm Ptx=46dBm Ptx=49dBm 12000 BW=1. macro cell radius for different BW with Ptx=46dBm and MCS : 1/3-QPSK It is obvious that when the transmission power increases. In other words for small radius i. Therefore.

Kolding. Wang and G. K...skmm. 3rd Generation Partnership Project Tech.. Also. W.QPSK 236 506 838 1674 2535 3402 1/2-16QAM 294 630 1047 2115 3154 4251. Pokhariyal. Commun. “Energy Efficiency Aspects of Base Station Deployment Strategies for Cellular Networks”. David Chieng and Alvin Ting.TABLE III.QPSK 93. [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] IV. Hugl and M. “LTE Capacity compared to the Shannon Bound” in Proc.5 455 762 1516 2307 3075 4/5. 2012. CONCLUSION [12] In this paper.QPSK 177. For a fix transmitted power and certain BW. Second edition. Bandwidth (MHz) 1. Kuusela.2 1058 1758 3550 5261 7006.4 and 998 bits/ joule for MCSs 1/8 QPSK. Fehske. “Energy Efficiency of Heterogeneous Cellular Networks: A Review”. Zorzi. 2009. Ltd..php?c=public&v=art_view&artid=1204 . at 1. A. Ayad Atiyah Abdulkafi. Journal of Applied Sciences. 2011. Yang Yang. Ayad Atiyah Abdulkafi. Overall. If good SINR is achieved.P.g. David Chieng and Alvin Ting.4 1521 2533 5047 7593 10113 4/5-64QAM 759 1619 2720 5416 8083 10815 ACKNOWLEDGMENT This work was partially supported by MIMOS Berhad. Moreover. Ottawa. Chockalingam and M. For example. Nov. it can be shown that the EE increases as the BW increases and the MCS moves from QPSK toward high QAM. F. the cell size of LTE macro BS decreases as the MCS transit from QPSK to the higher QAM. pp. “Energy efficiency of heterogeneous cellular network. Fettweis. the EE remains the same at value of 93. it can be seen that the EE becomes more sensitive to the MCS at higher BW as compared to lower BW. “Energy efficiency of media access protocols for mobile data networks”. Therefore. The effect of modulation and coding scheme MCS. New York: Cambridge University Press. Na. it can be concluded that the adaptive modulation and coding schemes can greatly assist to improve the energy efficiency of LTE macro BS. Antti Toskala.my/index.QPSK 213. http://www.. 1/5 QPSK. 681.3 bits/joule for MCSs of 1/8 QPSK. 5 and table III. T. “LTE .3 2/3-64QAM 606. M.” in Proc.4 1300 2170 4320 6494 8694 3/4-64QAM 704. I. Sept 2010. A.QPSK 93. F. “Wireless Communications”. 1/4 QPSK and 1/3 QPSK whereas the EE will be more sensitive to MCS at higher bandwidths because the achievable data rate is more sensitive to MCS at higher BW e. White Paper. Harri Holma. “LTE for UMTS:OFDMA and SC-FDMA based Radio Access”. P. EE increases significantly as the BW increases. 2009. Frederiksen. and G. Issam Toufik. In addition. Network. and Kari Horneman. B. W. “Tr 36. Z. Apr 2007. pp. 2012. 2005. A.3 150 248 498 750 998 1/2. 2012.3 129 217 437 648 867.The UMTS Long Term Evolution: From Theory to Practice”. John Wiley & Sons.3 3/4.gov. Shen. 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