Abstract

The growing energy footprint of communication networks has raised concern about the sustainability of future network development. The GreenTouch consortium was founded to help counter this trend by developing and integrating green network technologies from the access to the core. In order to evaluate these technologies, an end-to-end network power model was developed in the form of the Green Meter, a tool to assess the overall impact and overall energy efficiency benefits of an entire portfolio of solutions. In this paper, we describe the methodology of the Green Meter for the residential fixed access portion, which was extended to include metro aggregation. A baseline architecture for optical access and metro aggregation networks is defined, and is adapted to other scenarios integrating future technologies. The performance is evaluated each time through a mathematical model that captures the energy savings at the component level and has the ability to compute the overall system-level energy savings. We show that energy efficiency can be improved 29-fold over a decade (2010–2020) with business-as-usual trends, and with the added effort of introducing GreenTouch solutions, this could be further improved to achieve a 257-fold increase in energy efficiency. The results confirm that an emphasis on green network design can indeed have a huge impact on reducing the energy consumption of an optical access infrastructure.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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