To adapt to the rapid growth of data traffic, the mobile industry will need to keep pursuing innovations in power supply, distribution, use, and management, and build greener 5G networks with higher performance and lower energy consumption, said Ryan Ding, Huawei's executive director.
He was delivering the keynote speech titled "Green 5G Networks for a Low-Carbon Future," on the second day of Global Mobile Broadband Forum 2021 in Dubai.
In countries where 5G is developing faster, operators who have invested heavily in 5G have seen remarkable returns, Ryan said. But he stressed that operators would realise business value only when the 5G user penetration rate is high enough.
When the 5G user penetration rate reaches a threshold of 20%, Ryan said, rapid development of 5G will follow.
In countries such as China, South Korea, and Kuwait, operators were quick to provide continuous nationwide coverage, giving users a consistent experience. They also offer flexible service packages, which delivers a win-win result for both users and themselves.
Also, these operators are providing a gigabit experience – a tangible improvement over 4G – to accelerate user migration and network evolution. In these countries, the 5G user penetration rate has exceeded the 20% threshold, triggering a positive cycle of user growth, business returns, and network construction.
High-quality 5G networks will drive the rapid growth of mobile data traffic. It is estimated that the average data traffic per user per month will reach 600GB by 2030.
If the energy efficiency of existing networks remains unchanged, the energy consumption of wireless networks will increase by more than tenfold. Ryan said to cut the ICT industry's greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent, operators will need to pursue ongoing innovations in power supply, distribution, use, and management to build greener 5G networks with higher performance and lower energy consumption.
Huawei already deployed low-carbon site solutions in more than 100 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Greece, Pakistan, and Switzerland, helping operators reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 40 million tons, he added.