Increasingly, climate change is one of the leading problems facing societies and economies around the world. The effects are expected to cause enormous disruption and damage, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicting that warming at 1.5 ° C could lead to a rise in sea level of 0.4 meters in 2100, 69 million people are exposed to floods.
The current global emissions targets will only be achieved by accelerating innovative technologies, which will allow industries to focus their organizations on sustainable operations. Digital technologies can be the most powerful, scalable tool the world has to tackle climate change and 5G is at the forefront of these efforts.
About the author
Peters Suh, Head of Network and Connected Services Practice in North America, Accent.
Wireless network operators have already taken a number of steps to reduce emissions, such as reducing energy consumption, moving to more efficient network equipment and supply of renewable energy. However, compensating for the increase in data volume over mobile networks will require more than improvements in current networks.
The impact of 5G is threefold in its potential to combat the effects of climate change: 5G, with its significantly higher energy efficiency, will reduce greenhouse gases, reduce emissions from other industries and allow for more accurate environmental monitoring. environment to meet broader commitments to climate change.
The fast and efficient implementation of 5G creates more efficient wireless networks
5G promises significant improvements right now wireless technologies in terms of latency, bandwidth and device connectivity and as a result, the demand for data per device and the number of devices will increase.
Despite increased demand, 5G allows network operators to be more energy efficient per unit of output. According to STL Partners, 5G offers the potential to allow a 98% reduction in power consumption per bit of transmitted data. This in turn leads to a cumulative saving of more than 1 billion tonnes of CO2 between 2020 and 2030 – more than a year of greenhouse gas emissions from all maritime shipping or aviation worldwide.
This theory comes to life as manufacturers of innovative equipment release hardware that combines multiple radio technologies into a single piece of equipment, resulting in on-site energy efficiency. Technologies such as Network Functional Virtualization (NFV), software-defined networks (SDNs) and network cutting will allow operators to gain more control over their networks, allowing them to monitor energy consumption by increasing or decreasing to meet demand.
5G enables high-emission industries to reduce their own emissions
5G improvements in latency and bandwidth, combined with new technological features such as mobile end-to-end computing (MEC), will also allow for new uses that will significantly reduce emissions from most industrial verticals. This will change our way of life and work, which will lead to a significant reduction in greenhouse gases.
In a smart city with 5G, data, sensors and connected devices help to improve government services and the quality of life of residents through analytics, artificial intelligence and automation that will enable a new generation of platforms and services.
5G is unique in its ability to serve as a platform for other destructive technologies, including XR, IoT and AI. The proliferation of these technologies in various industries can significantly reduce energy consumption and help accelerate climate saving initiatives, such as reducing the need to travel through remote work.
Other potential uses include the deployment of 5G in connected transport to reduce travel time to the workplace and improve traffic management, or to improve virtual conferencing and trade fairs, which reduces the stay in hotel rooms and emissions when traveling.
A more connected society is more energy efficient
In addition to reducing carbon, 5G will expand to create entire connected infrastructures that require the transmission of vast amounts of data at very high speeds through a dense network of devices. The implications for this are numerous, covering connected transport, agriculture, cities, buildings, industry, energy, healthcare, living, work, and physical to digital networks.
For example, in agriculture, precision farming technology using 5G can increase crop yields while reducing emissions from crop production by using data collection technologies, big data analysis and precise application control to manages and optimizes farm management practices.
These techniques will allow more accurate environmental monitoring, combating other forms of environmental degradation, such as reducing the use of pesticides, improved irrigation systems or testing the quality of drinking water.
We used 3G to send texts and emails. With 4G we can download video and start connecting machines. 5G, will allow a fully connected society. As a result, it plays a key role in fulfilling emission commitments and supports our fight against climate change, both within telecommunications systems and in society as a whole.