We consider the problem of minimization of sum transmission energy in cellular networks where coupling occurs between cells due to mutual interference. The coupling relation is characterized by the signal-to-interference-and-noise-ratio (SINR) coupling model. Both cell load and transmission power, where cell load measures the average level of resource usage in the cell, interact via the coupling model. The coupling is implicitly characterized with load and power as the variables of interest using two equivalent equations, namely, non-linear load coupling equation (NLCE) and non-linear power coupling equation (NPCE), respectively.

By analyzing the NLCE and NPCE, we prove that operating at full load is optimal in minimizing sum energy, and provide an iterative power adjustment algorithm to obtain the corresponding optimal power solution with guaranteed convergence, where in each iteration a standard bisection search is employed. To obtain the algorithmic result, we use the properties of the so-called standard interference function; the proof is non-standard because the NPCE cannot even be expressed as a closed-form expression with power as the implicit variable of interest. We present numerical results illustrating the theoretical findings for a real-life and large-scale cellular network, showing the advantage of our solution compared to the conventional solution of deploying uniform power for base stations.