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Mobile Information Systems
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 7149643, 11 pages
Research Article

Beyond Cellular Green Generation: Potential and Challenges of the Network Separation

Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Ilario Filippini

Received 7 September 2016; Accepted 28 November 2016; Published 13 February 2017

Academic Editor: María Calderon

Copyright © 2017 Ilario Filippini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This article introduces the ideas investigated in the BCG2 project of the GreenTouch consortium. The basic concept is to separate signaling and data in the wireless access network. Transmitting the signaling information separately maintains coverage even when the whole data network is adapted to the current load situation. Such network-wide adaptation can power down base stations when no data transmission is needed and, thus, promises a tremendous increase in energy efficiency. We highlight the advantages of the separation approach and discuss technical challenges opening new research directions. Moreover, we propose two analytical models to assess the potential energy efficiency improvement of the BCG2 approach.