Definitive data and analysis for the mobile industry
Module: Mobile Operators and Networks

Energy efficiency in the 5G era: going lean, going green

The impetus for reductions in energy emissions in the telecoms sector is anchored in the global fight to combat and mitigate climate change. Industry-specific factors have further shaped efficiency efforts, though - in particular, the rising proportion of 4G/5G customers and their propensity to use more data, with consequent impacts on network energy consumption. Energy-saving measures built into the 5G standard may be offset by rising data traffic, paradoxically resulting in higher levels of energy consumption and emissions. The energy strategies of operators are, however, taking a holistic perspective that includes retiring legacy networks, increasing renewable consumption and buying power-efficient equipment. Indications from reporting groups are positive, following a trajectory to net zero by 2040-2050, but the trend is not yet broad based.

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