Experts from the UK are warning that 5G’s energy requirements are great and that they will increase with more data transmitted plus more devices with shorter lifespans. The impact on the environment by 5G has been ignored to a great degree while the public is misled about the benefits.
More evidence needed to establish 5G’s green credentials
“The academics from the Sussex Energy Group also warn that the widespread adoption of unlimited data subscriptions for 5G users and the facilitation of advanced and data-intensive mobile services such as VR and more sophisticated mobile gaming could encourage energy-intensive user practices, contribute to ever-growing levels of data traffic, and counteract the energy-saving potential of 5G efficiency improvements.
The need for large-scale infrastructure updates every decade to accommodate new generation mobile networks and the even shorter lifespan of smartphones leave a significant environmental impact which must be combatted through the modular design of network infrastructure, right to repair legislation and bans on planned obsolescence from manufacturers, details the newly-published study in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews….
”Our review suggests that work on the energy use implications of 5G has overwhelmingly focused on the energy required to power mobile phone networks. However, the energy required to manufacture and install network equipment and manufacture mobile phones is a potentially important part of the puzzle that seems to be routinely overlooked in assessments of 5G’s energy use….
“We have identified a number of potentially significant shortcomings of the evidence base on the energy use implications of 5G. The surprising lack of peer-reviewed, publicly available whole network level assessments on the energy use implications of 5G, and patchy disclosure of the key data and assumptions of those studies that do exist, currently make it impossible to conclude with any confidence that 5G will reduce the energy consumption of mobile networks.”