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5G Consumes Four Times More Electricity Than 4G

There’s no doubting that 5G technology is a necessary next step, with the ability to run at ten times the speed of 4G, but according to an expert, it guzzles a lot more power.

Ding Haiyu, head of wireless and terminals at the China Mobile Research Institute, told gatherings at a symposium about 5G and carbon neutrality in Beijing that a 5G base station consumes “four times more electricity” than its 4G counterpart.

“We are aiming at halving the 5G’s electricity cost to only two times of 4G in two years,” he explained.

But, considering its speeds, 5G actually works out four times more energy-efficient, assuming it is being used at capacity all the time. This is where it gets tricky.

“When the 5G’s stations are running without people using them, they are really electricity guzzlers,” said Zhu Qingfeng, head of power supply design at China Information Technology Designing and Consulting Institute.

“We have to shut down some 5G base stations at night to reduce emission.”

Haiyu explained that chip improvements, automatic sleeping and wake-up of base stations, and better cooling systems will further the reduction of energy waste with 5G.

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