INTELLIGENT BRANDS // Mobile Technology
Research reveals telcos should prioritise sustainability in 5G deployments
5G will be the most transformative communications technology in a generation and enable a universe of new services , including advanced energy management capabilities that will be critical to solving growing energy and sustainability challenges . But new research highlights the practical challenges of 5G energy management facing telecommunications operators .
Estimates suggest 5G networks can be up to 90 % more efficient per traffic unit than their 4G predecessors , but they still require far more energy due to increased network density , heavy reliance on IT systems and infrastructure and increased network use and accelerated traffic growth .
The report from telecommunications consultancy STL Partners and Vertiv , a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions , concludes telecom operators should address these challenges in two ways : By adopting energy efficiency best practices across their networks and by encouraging their customers to adopt 5G-enabled services to reduce consumption and emissions in all walks of life .
STL Partners estimates global 5G traffic will overtake 3G / 4G as soon as 2025 , making sustainability an urgent priority for operators . In fact , 40 % of enterprises surveyed for the report indicated energy efficiency should be the first or second priority for telecom operators when deploying 5G networks .
The report , Why Energy Management Is Critical To 5G Success , uses research including a survey of 500 enterprises globally to outline the challenges telcos face as they wrestle with the increased energy use and costs associated with 5G . The paper identifies several best practices aimed at mitigating those increases and costs , organised across five categories :
• Deploying hardware and software designed and operated for efficiency
• Including new edge data centres to support cloud-native IT
• Deploying the appropriate hardware and software to measure , monitor , manage , improve and automate the network
• Taking a holistic , full lifecycle view of costs and investments across the network
• Embracing innovative and nontraditional commercial models , standards and collaboration
“ Telecom operators making meaningful energy and cost reductions are doing so by evaluating the entire ecosystems around their network operations – people , objectives , infrastructure and partners ,” said Scott Armul , Vice President , Global DC power and outside plant at Vertiv . “ Because of the reliance on IT to enable 5G applications , a high degree of collaboration will be required across operators , OEMs and infrastructure providers and customers to ensure deployments are optimised and every possible efficiency is pursued .” p
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