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How much energy will your NGN consume? A model for energy consumption in next generation access networks: The case of Spain


  • Coomonte, Rafael
  • Feijóo, Claudio
  • Ramos, Sergio
  • Gómez-Barroso, José-Luis


The contribution to global energy consumption of the information and communications technology (ICT) sector has increased considerably in the last decade, along with its growing relevance to the overall economy. This trend will continue due to the seemingly ever greater use of these technologies, with broadband data traffic generated by the usage of telecommunication networks as a primary component. In fact, in response to user demand, the telecommunications industry is initiating the deployment of next generation networks (NGNs). However, energy consumption is mostly absent from the debate on these deployments, in spite of the potential impact on both expenses and sustainability. In addition, consumers are unaware of the energy impact of their choices in ultra-broadband services. This paper focuses on forecasting energy consumption in the access part of NGNs by modelling the combined effect of the deployment of two different ultra-broadband technologies (FTTH-GPON and LTE), the evolution of traffic per user, and the energy consumption in each of the networks and user devices. Conclusions are presented on the levels of energy consumption, their cost and the impact of different network design parameters. The effect of technological developments, techno-economic and policy decisions on energy consumption is highlighted. On the consumer side, practical figures and comparisons across technologies are provided. Although the paper focuses on Spain, the analysis can be extended to similar countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Coomonte, Rafael & Feijóo, Claudio & Ramos, Sergio & Gómez-Barroso, José-Luis, 2013. "How much energy will your NGN consume? A model for energy consumption in next generation access networks: The case of Spain," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 981-1003.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:telpol:v:37:y:2013:i:10:p:981-1003
    DOI: 10.1016/j.telpol.2013.09.002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ewan SUTHERLAND, 2009. "Climate Change: the Contribution of Telecommunications," Communications & Strategies, IDATE, Com&Strat dept., vol. 1(76), pages 61-76, 4th quart.
    2. Kolk, Ans & van Tulder, Rob, 2010. "International business, corporate social responsibility and sustainable development," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 119-125, April.
    3. Leslier Valenzuela & Jay Mulki & Jorge Jaramillo, 2010. "Impact of Customer Orientation, Inducements and Ethics on Loyalty to the Firm: Customers’ Perspective," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 93(2), pages 277-291, May.
    4. Tselekounis, Markos & Maniadakis, Dimitris & Varoutas, Dimitris, 2012. "NGA investments: A departure from the existing cost and demand structure assumptions," 19th ITS Biennial Conference, Bangkok 2012: Moving Forward with Future Technologies - Opening a Platform for All 72490, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
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