Global Telecom Operators Move to Make Mobile Networks More Sustainable, Energy Efficient

Emma Okonji

As countries globally, Niger1a inclusive, continue to adopt and rollout 5G technology, green business practices are rapidly becoming an integral part of the telecom industry as operators around the globe work toward becoming more sustainable and reducing their energy usage, in order to create a green environment that is free of carbon emissions.

Mobile operators play a central role in reducing the ongoing threat of global warming and climate change and many are actively working on strategies to minimise their carbon emissions and achieve their net­zero goals.

Mobile World Live, the online communications hub for the global mobile industry, in its latest survey report on energy efficiency and sustainability in the telecom sector, highlighted how global telecom operators are working towards making mobile networks more efficient and sustainable in order to reduce their carbon emissions and adopting net­zero goals, designed to achieve green and healthy environment.

Many companies are putting more emphasis on improving their sustainable operations by examining their supply chains, introducing renewable energy sources, shifting to remote work and implementing green solutions.

The survey revealed that more than a quarter, about 27 per cent  of respondents that were surveyed, said their company was planning to do everything possible to improve their sustainability.

The report, which was based on responses from an online survey of mobile operators, tower companies and cloud service providers, was conducted by Mobile World Live on behalf of Galooli

Galooli is an industrial Internet of Things (IoT) company that focuses on remote management and predictive analytics for connecting assets and energy sources. Its patented technology enables users from a variety of industries to increase cost savings and energy efficiency while reducing their carbon emissions.

According to the report. “Mobile operators with fewer than 40,000 towers comprised the biggest group of respondents, about 34 per cent, followed by mobile operators with 40,000 or more towers, about 27 per cent, and cloud service providers, about 29 per cent. Tower operators with fewer than 40,000 towers and tower operators with 40,000 or more towers made up just 10 per cent of respondents.

“About one­-fifth, which is about 21 per cent of survey respondents said they worked in marketing and sales followed by 18 per cent that said they worked in network management, which is 18 per cent and another 18 per cent said they worked in operations management. C­level executives comprised 14 per cent of survey respondents and 28 per cent of those that responded said they worked in other areas of the company such as administration or retail.”

Of those respondents that said they worked for a mobile operator, nearly one­-third, about 32 per cent said their company operated a 4G network, 26 per cent said that their company operated a 5G network, 24 per cent said that their company operated a 3G network and 18 per cent said their company operated a 2G network. Geographically, the largest group of respondents were from companies with headquarters in Europe (39 per cent), followed by North America (26 per cent), Asia (19 per cent), Africa (8 per cent), South America (6 per cent) and the Middle East (2 per cent).

Key findings of the report showed that about 71 per cent majority of respondents said they were either very familiar or somewhat familiar with their company’s net­zero goals.

However 30 per cent of respondents said they were not aware of how much of their organization’s annual budget is designated for sustainable practices, less than 17 per cent of respondents said that between 35 per cent to 74 per cent of their company’s energy usage is from renewable energy and 15 per cent said that between 75 per cent to 100 per cent of their company’s energy usage is from renewable energy. Nearly 49 per cent t of respondents said that solar was their primary renewable energy source and 7 per cent said hydropower was their renewable energy source while 4 per cent said it was wind.

Nearly 31 per cent of respondents said they use a combination of software and manual checks to monitor their energy sources at cell sites while 25 per cent said they use a software monitoring tool, the report further said.

Overall, the survey results indicated that many companies would benefit from having a better understanding of both energy usage and carbon emissions, particularly if they want to meet certain net­zero goals.