Upgrading to more efficient cellular radio towers could save enough electricity to power cities such as Phoenix, New Orleans or Seattle, according to a new study produced by US research firm J. Gold Associates.
Annually, US cell sites use a total of almost 21 million megawatt hours (MWh) of power. That’s the equivalent of the average power used by almost two million households.
“Cellular services have become a critical infrastructure component of modern life. It’s hard to imagine not being able to communicate on the go with our mobile devices, or increasingly through a wireless home gateway enabling Internet services to both residential and business customers,” the report said. “But not often discussed is the burden that the numerous cell sites places on the electricity supplies required to keep them powered and the costs associated with the power supplied.”
Each 10% reduction in total cell site power results in enough electricity saved to power the equivalent of 195,000 households. And a 40% reduction provides enough electricity to power the equivalent of almost 782,000 households, according to the study, “US Cell Sites- a Sustainability Analysis.”
By upgrading both the radio hardware and the management software, each cell site could save as much as 40% of its electricity needs, the report states.