QoS-aware greening of interference-limited cellular networks
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We consider the problem of minimizing the energy consumed in a cellular access network, under loads that slowly vary over space and time, while guaranteeing quality of service (QoS). In particular, we formalize the problem of jointly optimizing the base stations (BS) power levels and the association of users to BSs, while guaranteeing a minimum throughput to each user, and a target value of blocking probability. We propose abstractions that enable tracking of long-term spatial load distributions, and a practical algorithm for energy efficient user association and base station power allocation. Our algorithm is applicable to arbitrary (planar) BS layouts, to settings with interference, to different BS energy models, and to arbitrary user distributions over the service area. Through extensive simulations using measured data, and realistic BS deployments, we show that our algorithm leads to substantial energy savings both with traditional BS designs and with energy-proportional equipment, and we demonstrate the potential of BS sleep modes to achieve network-level energy proportionality.