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Telecom Industry to Shift More Capital to Energy Efficiency

The telecom service industry will invest more than 61 percent of its capital expenditures into sustainable infrastructure by 2016, representing a $194 billion market, according to a Pike Research report.

The forecast investment, 65 percent of which will go into mobile networks, has been driven by commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the falling cost of opening base stations run on clean energy, and efforts to minimize rising energy prices, according to Pike Research. However, the path to reaching these goals has shifted away from adding sources of clean power and towards energy efficiency initiatives, according to the report.

Telecom providers and their vendors are expected to focus on mobile networks because of their high energy use. Base stations and switching centers within mobile can consume between 60 percent and 85 percent of an operator’s network energy.

Pike Research says the telecom industry will largely concentrate on ensuring the newer 4G networks require less power than legacy networks, by making improvements to radio frequency amplifiers, switches, network architectures and topologies and fresh air cooling. The improvements will push emissions levels associated with mobile networks down 5.6 percent to 251 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2016, the report estimates.

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2 thoughts on “Telecom Industry to Shift More Capital to Energy Efficiency

  1. So what happens if the cell phone industry tanks? What happens if wireless turns out to be a cause of cancer, which they have found in 3rd party research and why much of Europe has wireless bans in place.
    Wireless is not sustainable simply because we need to make the cell phones, over and over again using rare earth elements and metals. Mining for these rare earth elements is done with virtual slavery in some countries.
    Cell phones are among the least sustainable things in the world of STUFF, they break too easily and the industry itself is focused on consumption, not reliability. And when you toss people and APPs into the mix, we have a larger problem than alcoholism. Just watch people with their smart phones… addicted?
    This is a slippery slope to be on.

  2. @Ian – If wireless caused cancer we’d have a pandemic of cancer – we don’t, so it doesn’t. You mention wireless bans – where? cite references.
    Rare earths are 97% from China, they’re not actually so rare.
    Driving your car for an hour a day for a year uses the same energy as 500 years worth of your share of a mobile network – so driving is even less sustainable, kills more people, consumes more land…Addicted?

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