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5G and the future of sustainable technology, CIO News, ET CIO

By Sooraj Balakrishnan

The pandemic has not only shown us the importance of technology but also highlighted how hyper-connected the world is. We live in a hybrid world where being in a virtual space blend into our daily lives. Doing business from a computer, banking with digital currency, or acquiring property in the metaverse is part of a new normal. Such a great digital transformation requires efficient and much-needed power, and this is where the fifth generation of cellular technology comes into the picture. In our lives ahead 5G technology is expected to be one of the greatest contributors to digital transformation.

5G enables a network that is created to connect everyone and everything virtually together including machines, objects, and devices. It is intended to provide higher data speed, ultra-low latency, increased reliability, immense network capacity, enhanced availability, and a more consistent user experience to more consumers.

Smart practices, low carbon footprint

5G can assist several industries to become smarter and more effective by providing the connectivity that technologies like the internet of things and artificial intelligence need to run optimally and at scale. According to a study conducted in 2019, these technologies, and other Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions, could cut global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 15% in 2030. To estimate the total potential reduction in GHG emissions, the research explored different GHG-emitting sectors and the potential ICT solutions relevant to these. The use cases consist of smart grids, buildings, transport, travel, work, services, and agriculture. The Internet of things particularly helps analyze, monitor, and decrease the consumption of power and resources by creating systems smarter. It also allows businesses to design granular optimizations with the highest impact.

Despite concerns regarding 5G being power-driven, one of the recent research projects conducted in Spain and Brazil indicates that it might be up to 90% more efficient than the fourth-generation network in terms of energy consumption. The test pilot in Spain produced up to 23% in energy savings, and results from Brazil show that 5G consumes about 10% of the power required by its 4G equivalent. There have been similar studies that have concluded that 5G technologies show to be 90% more energy efficient compared to legacy technologies. Proper planning and strategic optimizations can enable this and is the key to a successful 5G deployment.

There are two ways to make sure that 5G runs sustainably:

1. By lowering its energy consumption

2. Reducing its carbon footprint (this, on top of the carbon footprint reductions that it enables other sectors to make).

Specialists believe that doing this will require a collaborative effort and a blend of multiple approaches. For example, participants in the 5G ecosystem can help reduce power consumption through various hardware and software adjustments. Utilizing the cloud to minimize resource allocation to hardware and program different tasks could also help cut down on energy consumption. To reduce 5G’s carbon footprint, some professionals suggested applying clean energy. This, however, may or may not lower the energy consumption and price, because of which energy-saving procedures are still essential irrespective of the energy source. One of the global telecommunications companies suggested a holistic approach: preparing the network by modernizing it, stimulating energy-saving software, developing 5G with accuracy to maximize performance and resources, and operating site infrastructure intelligently using AI.

With thorough deployment, 5G can play an essential part in achieving sustainability. For companies, those who harness it will benefit from the efficacies and future proofing that it provides, as well as the prospects for innovation that it provides. Those who find it difficult to adjust may find it difficult to stay competitive in the post-pandemic realm.

The author is the Head of Marketing at Acer India

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and ETCIO.com does not necessarily subscribe to it. ETCIO.com shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organization directly or indirectly

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