Call for Papers: 5G Network Energy Consumption, Energy Efficiency and Environmental Impact

The Information Technology sector’s energy consumption has been growing at an unsustainable rate of 9 % per year, and its carbon footprint was already twice as large as that of the air transport industry before the Covid pandemic. Traffic demand is still growing, driven not only by end-users’ usual expectations of ever-higher quality video for conventional video-on-demand and more recent social-networking-driven applications; but also machine-to-machine traffic
and operation of expanding cloud services.

Curbing this requires new ways of organizing the networks, seeking optimization across all network layers, including the physical layer. However, although such cross-layer optimization was already an active research subject 10 years ago, and modern 5G networks do incorporate some of the techniques developed, the situation has not improved in terms of global consumption. Improvements in energy efficiency were more than offset by traffic growth and rebound effects, and the objective never was to reduce growth in the first place.

We need to spark a revival of the topic, focused on the ways to approach the problem most likely to make a difference. This includes still more efficiency improvements, as well as favoring specific uses of low-carbon electricity in data centers and cellular base stations; but also avoiding the rebound effect by taking a holistic view of decreasing the global traffic, via network management techniques whenever possible, as well as enabling and inciting users to moderate their network usage and through other forms of digital sobriety.

The goal of this special issue is thus to gather state-of-the-art research in environment-aware networking, i.e., technologies, models, protocols, architectures, algorithms, test-beds aware of the environmental impact of networks, chiefly through their global energy consumption and carbon footprint.

Topics of interest include, but are not restricted to the following:

  • Energy-and environment-awareness in all aspects and types of networks:
    • physical layers, protocols, architectures, algorithms, scheduling;
    • wired and wireless, RF and optical networks;
    • data centers, cloud and edge computing, cloud-RAN;
    • 5G/6G cellular, device-to-device (D2D), machine-to-machine, vehicle-to-everything (V2X), sensor and Internet of things (IoT) networks.
  • Evaluation and reduction of networks’ energy, energy efficiency improvements and environmental impact (“Green IT”):
    • modeling and metrology (including actual datasets);
    • cross-layer optimization;
    • hardware and physical layer optimization techniques e.g. optical functionalities, fixed-mobile convergence, multi-antenna systems (MIMO), multiple access techniques (MAC, NOMA), reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RIS);
    • network optimization techniques e.g. service differentiation, synchronous and URLLC networks, cognitive networks;
    • energy harvesting for cellular networks, sensor networks and IoT;
    • low-tech networks
  • Evolution of IT and network usage:
    • long-term predictions and modeling;
    • enabling end-user informed choices and digital sobriety.
  • Networks and communications’ impact on other domains (“IT for green”):
    • evaluation of other domains’ energy savings by the use of IT;
    • environment monitoring

Manuscript submission: June 15, 2022
Author notification: September 9, 2022
Revised papers submission: October 10, 2022
Final acceptance: November 9, 2022
Online with DOI: As soon as accepted
Printed issue: First half of 2023

Lead Guest Editors

  • Dr. Cédric Ware, Professor
  • Dr. Marceau Coupechoux, Professor LTCI, Institut Mines-Télécom/Télécom Paris, Institut polytechnique de Paris, France

Guest Editors

  • Dr. Ekram Hossain, Full Professor, University of Manitoba
  • Dr. Carmen Mas-Machuca, Associate Professor, Technical University of Munich
  • Dr. Vinod Sharma, Full Professor, Indian Institute of Science of Bangalore
  • Dr. Anna Tzanakaki, Associate Professor, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Papers must describe original research that advances the state of the art, and must not be simultaneously submitted to another journal or conference with proceedings. Papers must be written in excellent English and should not exceed 20 pages. Conference papers must contain at least 50 % new material to be considered for the special issue. A cover letter to the Guest Editors clearly describing the extensions made must accompany these types of submissions. All submissions must be made using the instructions available at:
The authors can directly submit their papers at: and must select “Open Topic” in the menu “Choose Article Type”, then in the questionnaire on the “Additional Information” section, they will be able to select the item “CfP: 5+G Network Energy Consumption, Energy Efficiency and Environmental Impact”.