Energy and sustainability key to new telecoms networks, NGMN

Energy and sustainability key to new telecoms networks, says NGMN

22 July 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Telecoms operators and equipment vendors need to consider energy and sustainability, says the organisation leading the move to 6G.

The Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance, which has started the work on the next mobile generation, says that the industry needs to set global standards for sustainability.

And it should take equipment life cycles into account, adds NGMN, which represents global mobile operators.

NGMN chairman Arash Ashouriha, who is senior VP at Deutsche Telekom, said: “At Deutsche Telekom, we lay a great deal of emphasis on reducing waste and recycling of resources. Our approach of ‘sharing instead of owning’ contributes to resource conservation which is not only good for the environment but also brings along cost savings, and reduced waste of material.”

KPN’s Jeroen Cox, strategic lead of the company’s energy and environment work, added: “Critical raw materials are significant in the design of network equipment. Circular economy strategies like reducing, refurbishing or recycling should be considered to lower the supply risk of the materials in collaboration with partners in the value chain.”

NGMN has set out its ideas in two white papers published this week as part of its Green Future Networks project.

One addresses the data-driven assessments and research of the environmental footprint of digital goods and services, while the second focuses on eco-design and its implications.

NGMN CEO Anita Döhler (pictured) said: “In order to succeed in the implementation of real circular economy in the ICT sector, different sectors need to work together with global optimisation goals as a common strategy.”

The overall goal is to reduce the use of materials with high environmental impact – that is, critical raw materials – and to align with a temperature rise limited to 1.5°C.  

Döhler said: “We at NGMN invite operators, vendors, research institutions and other interested ecosystem players to take part in our Green Future Networks project to help further enlarging its global impact – for the benefit of humans.”