Forbes India – Green, 5G: Is 5G really green or will it consume more resources?
Jhe Mobile World Congress, an industry meeting in Barcelona, certainly saw some slogans. But Huawei, Orange and industry body GSMA have tried to flesh out some of the green claims about 5G.
The next-generation mobile network is being rolled out around the world, with promises of super-fast internet going hand in hand with claims of massive environmental benefits.
He told AFP how the industry’s claims stacked up.
Will 5G be more energy efficient?
Orange’s Jean-Marie Chaufray praised energy-saving features such as “sleep modes”, in which components are turned off when not in use, and more energy-efficient antennas and other hardware.
“Mobile data traffic is expected to continue to grow dramatically in the coming years. There is growing recognition that 5G will be at least part of the cause of this growth in data traffic.
“While this study covers the period just before the start of the deployment of 5G in the world, it nevertheless demonstrates that improving the energy efficiency of networks does not guarantee the reduction of energy consumption of networks.”
Will 5G help achieve zero carbon goals?
GSMA’s Emanuel Kolta boasted that telecom companies were “among the leading private sector companies” for committing to net zero targets.
Laurence Williams: “It is encouraging to see that telecommunications operators are increasingly subscribing to climate objectives and committing to using renewable energies to power their networks.
“The operational energy needed to power mobile networks is important, but so is the ’embodied energy’ needed to produce the network infrastructure.
“A lot of research on the implications of 5G for energy use focuses only on operational energy.
Does 5G bring greater energy savings?
The idea is that better connectivity will allow more services and activities to move online, reducing the energy consumption of transport and other industries.
Some industry estimates suggest energy savings at a ratio of 10 to 1 – each unit of energy invested in 5G will save 10 more.
“However, others have warned that the efficiency improvements enabled by 5G may simply lead to greater consumption of particular goods or services or may only partially substitute for older goods or services – people may still attend in-person meetings and purchase physical music alongside teleconferencing and music broadcasting.
“Even if 5G produces activation effects that exceed its own emissions, it does not necessarily follow that network operators could be allowed to achieve lower levels of emission reductions.
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