AI/ML for 5G Energy Consumption Modelling

5GNetworkingRadio Technology

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)


Introduction to the Challenge

5G, the fifth generation of radio technology, has revolutionized the way we communicate, offering new services, technologies, and networking paradigms. But with great power comes great responsibility, or in this case, greater energy consumption. While 5G networks are about 4 times more energy-efficient than their 4G counterparts, they consume roughly 3 times more energy. This is due to the need for more cells for coverage at higher frequencies and the increased processing required for wider bandwidths and more antennas.

The Energy Challenge

Network operational expenditure (OPEX) is a significant concern for operators. On average, it accounts for around 25% of the total operator's cost. A whopping 90% of this is spent on energy bills. The primary culprit? The radio access network (RAN), especially the base stations (BSs). They consume more than 70% of this energy. The challenge? Reducing this consumption without compromising on performance.

The AI/ML Solution

The AI for Good Challenge aims to address this energy consumption issue. Participants are tasked with designing a machine learning-based solution that can be trained on a dataset from a few scenarios and then generalize to unseen scenarios. The objectives are clear:

  • Objective A: Develop a model to estimate the energy consumed by different base station products.
  • Objective B: Ensure the model can generalize across different base station products.
  • Objective C: The model should predict energy consumption for different base station configurations.

About the Organizer

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs). They are at the forefront of global communication and play a pivotal role in ensuring seamless communication across borders.


The AI for Good Challenge is more than just a competition. It's a call to action for all tech enthusiasts, professionals, and students to come together and address a pressing issue. With the rapid adoption of 5G, energy consumption is a concern that cannot be ignored. Through this challenge, ITU aims to harness the power of AI and ML to pave the way for a more sustainable and energy-efficient future.

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