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Using 5G to boost your business’ sustainability

As the UK marches on toward the net zero 2050 deadline, the demand for green equivalents of existing technology is increasing. A recent study has shown that 5G could radically decarbonise telecommunications. We discuss how and what benefits businesses could gain from adopting 5G.

8 January 2021

A new dawn for data

5G technology has been making waves for the past few years. Soon it will infiltrate many of the world’s largest tech markets. These include mobile computing, automation, and IoT connectivity.

As the name suggests, 5G is the next evolution of wireless data transfer. Offering higher bandwidth, more reliable connections, and faster interaction with the digital space.

The technology has the potential to expand global data transfer capacity. It offers users a superhighway where they once had only a two lane street.

Many technologies vital for net zero will rely on this superhighway to be viable. Technologies such as large offshore wind farms that use remote monitoring and communications.  The electric vehicle market whose artificial intelligence will also rely on 5G for accurate navigation.

5G’s ability to support these sectors already demonstrates its potential as a green technology. However, in replacing 4G it would also drastically improve the sustainability of telecommunications as a whole.

5g is leaner, greener and more efficient

A new study, overseen by Nokia and Telefónica has shown that, across 11 different scenarios, 5G can not only transmit more data, but does so using less energy. The number of data bits transmitted per kilowatt of energy exceeds that of any previous kind of wireless technology.

The study focused on Telefónica’s radio access network, which manages mobile device connections. After three months, the two companies agreed that 5G was a ‘natively greener technology’, with 5G proving up to 90% more efficient in its energy usage than 4G.

Given that telecommunications contribute 3% of global energy consumption, a shift in efficiency of this scope would be unheard of.

Trends like cloud migration, growing online retail, and the increasing role of social media in direct marketing, means that data usage needs will continue to climb. The spread of the digital commercial space means that 5G will eventually become a necessity to keep services competitive.

The commercial benefits of 5G are obvious. Business leaders can expect to save money on energy bills and have an easier time complying to carbon legislation.

Finally, the potential of such technology for carbon savings may see it become legislated for. Like EPC standards imposed on commercial buildings, 5G may become a requirement for commercial organisations as an expected carbon saving measure.

At Smith Bellerby, we have 20 years of experience in securing the most favourable energy, utility, and telecommunications contracts for our clients. We believe in a sustainable world and want to support businesses that wish to have a leading role in creating that world. To find out how your organisation could benefit from our services, get in touch.

Josh Ellison
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