Energy consumption of mobile data transfer – Increasing or decreasing? : Evaluating the impact of technology development & user behavior

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

    Abstract

    Mobile data consumption in Finland is among the highest in the world. Increase in mobile data usage has been rapid and continuous growth is foreseen. While the energy consumed per transmitted gigabyte has substantially decreased, it seems that the absolute annual energy consumption related to mobile operators’ activities has started to increase. Simultaneously, consumer behavior is changing. While new end-user devices are more and more energy-efficient, we use more and more time with mobile devices. Is increasing usage outweighing achieved energy savings? What kinds of options are available for tackling increasing energy demand?

    This paper discusses current and future trends related to energy consumption of mobile data transfer and mobile networks in Finland. Using a top-down approach and publicly available data, an illustrative trend (kWh/gigabyte) for the energy consumption of transmitted mobile data was constructed for the years 2010-2016. In addition, energy consumption related to mobile data transfer is discussed from a life cycle perspective, considering both direct and indirect energy use and challenges in conducting such assessments. Contributions of relevant technological and social developments (radio network technology transformations from 4G to 5G and consumer behavior) are analyzed considering possible trade-offs and pointing out aspects that require future studies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationICT4S2018. 5th International Conference on Information and Communication Technology for Sustainability
    EditorsBirgit Penzenstadler, Steve Easterbrook, Colin Venters, Syed Ishtiaqe Ahmed
    Pages301-315
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2018
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible
    Event5th International Conference on Information and Communication Technology for Sustainability, ICT4S2018 - Toronto, Canada
    Duration: 14 May 201818 May 2018

    Publication series

    SeriesEPiC Series in Computing
    Volume52
    ISSN2398-7340

    Conference

    Conference5th International Conference on Information and Communication Technology for Sustainability, ICT4S2018
    Abbreviated titleICT4S
    CountryCanada
    CityToronto
    Period14/05/1818/05/18

    Keywords

    • consumer behaviour
    • energy consumption
    • ICT
    • life cycle assessment
    • mobile access networks

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  • Cite this

    Pihkola, H., Hongisto, M., Apilo, O., Lasanen, M., & Vatanen, S. (2018). Energy consumption of mobile data transfer – Increasing or decreasing? : Evaluating the impact of technology development & user behavior. In B. Penzenstadler, S. Easterbrook, C. Venters, & S. Ishtiaqe Ahmed (Eds.), ICT4S2018. 5th International Conference on Information and Communication Technology for Sustainability (pp. 301-315). EPiC Series in Computing, Vol.. 52 https://doi.org/10.29007/ddrc