Bell Labs: Mix of radio sizes can deliver 50% energy savings

Here's more research in support of heterogeneous networks, or HetNets. Bell Labs, the industrial research arm of Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), says it has discovered that today's ultra-broadband mobile networks can make significant energy savings and performance gains by deploying a mix of macro and small cell radio base stations.

The discovery is the result of a research project called IntelliSpektrum, which brought together Bell Labs, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics, the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institute and Intel Mobile Communications GmbH.

The project aimed to demonstrate how base stations can be dynamically adapted to better manage traffic loads and save energy without adverse effects to service quality.

Among the research findings: Significant energy savings are possible with HetNets that include macro, metro, pico and femto base stations. Energy savings of more than 50 percent were seen in mobile networks with a high number of small cells compared to those comprised only of macro base stations. For more details, see this press release.

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