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GSMA Intelligence Radar Report: The Sustainable Telco

Climate-related activity in the telecoms sector has accelerated markedly over the last 18 months. Energy costs now represent 20–40% of telecoms’ OPEX, which will be exacerbated as 5G takes hold, with average data usage expected to rise fourfold by 2025. The clear demand among telcos for energy-efficient solutions has invited a significant level of innovation among equipment vendors and others in the supply chain.

In this Radar report, we delve into strategies for energy efficiency improvements in telecoms networks in the 5G era (including through the use of AI) and across wider footprints including transportation fleets and campuses. We also explore the impact of connectivity and digitization on other industries, and the growing range of partnerships and standards alignment to tackle the supply chain emissions that make up Scope 3 – the largest piece of the pie (70%) and most difficult to address.

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“Cloud-based solutions also reduce dependency on hardware swap-outs. Newly-built data centre components such as motherboards and chassis can be reused in future upgrades. This offers cheaper, more frequent and customised innovation, reducing manufacturing and transport emissions associated with the supply chain.”

Hatt, Jarich and Kolta of GSMA Intelligence, December 2021