Global 5G traffic is forecasted to surpass 3G/4G as early as 2025 making sustainability an urgent priority for operators due to increased network density, heavy reliance on IT systems and infrastructure, and increased network use, and accelerated traffic growth.
This is despite 5G networks being up to 90% more efficient than the legacy 4G networks. 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 optimized and every possible efficiency is pursued.
Though network efficiency improvements are just one aspect of the energy consumption issue, it needs to be paired with a more holistic approach to curb energy use and emissions by leveraging 5G in ways that are not in control of telcos.
Operators are deploying 5G networks to grow new revenues. This growth will come from new connectivity and applications enabling operators’ customers’ own transformation journeys. To be credible, informed partners for their customers, operators must lead by example. Energy strategy is a great place to start.
The manufacturing sector could achieve up to $730 billion worth of benefits by 2030 through the use of 5G to enable advanced predictive maintenance and automation while the Transportation and Logistics could get up to $280 billion in benefits by 2030 and lastly, 5G could allow the healthcare sector to provide improved access to healthcare services for up to 1 billion patients by 2030.