Mobile Networks Unplugged

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Executive Summary

Mobile network access has seemingly become ubiquitous in industrialized countries. With data services becoming sufficiently fast, usable, and affordable, demand are growing rapidly, both in the number of users and in capacity - since most Internet/web resources continue being tailored for fast fixed line access. A lot of engineering has gone into making mobile devices appealing and sufficiently power-conserving to last for at least a day in spite of the many emerging network-driven applications. However, this device-centric view fails to recognize the "Other side": the mobile access infrastructure. There, too, power consumption raises technical issues (not just) when moving towards faster mobile access and is de-facto an inhibiting factor for cellular expansion: for practical and for cost reasons.

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