Energy efficient backhauling for 5G small cell networks

Document Type

Journal Article


School of Engineering


Originally published as Mowla, M. M., Ahmad, I., Habibi, D., & Phung, V. (2018). Energy efficient backhauling for 5G small cell networks. IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Computing, 1-1. doi:10.1109/TSUSC.2018.2838116


While the concept of ultra-dense small cell networks (SCNs) has brought a number of significant opportunities for the telecommunication industry, it has also introduced a major challenge for researchers, who must develop techniques to reduce the sharp increase in power consumption that will be required to backhaul traffic from SCNs to the core network. In this research, we investigate the green backhauling challenge for a fifth generation (5G) wireless communication network that uses both the passive optical network (PON) and millimeter wave (mmWave) backhauling. Our approach is based on the fact that the energy efficiency figures for the PON and the mmWave technologies are different under a given load condition. The PON technology is more energy efficient under heavy load conditions, whereas the mmWave technology offers better energy efficiency under low load conditions. We formulate an optimization problem that considers the estimated hourly traffic load and determines the most energy efficient backhauling strategy for various hours of the day. Considering the complexity of the optimization problem, we also propose an energy efficient heuristic solution to solve this problem. Simulation results indicate that the proposed solution provides up to 32% more energy savings than the existing solution.