A new study of Australian operator Telstra's Next G(TM) network, which was supplied and installed by Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC), reveals that business users of the new mobile broadband service can reduce their carbon footprint as well as improve their productivity.
The study was commissioned by Ericsson and Telstra as a companion study to the recently announced study on the productivity gains of Telstra's HSPA network. Both studies were conducted by the independent consultancy firm Econtech. It confirms that many business users of the new HSPA-enabled 3G network are able to reduce their kilometers traveled, as well as the need to print documents, resulting in a reduced carbon footprint for their work activities. The businesses reduced their carbon footprint by up to 17%., with an average of between 5-10percent.
Many of the respondents indicated that they travel less kilometres due to their use of Next GTM. The respondents indicated that due to the better reception and coverage and faster speeds, they are able to stay out of their office longer and still perform work. This has meant that they have reduced their number of return trips to the office to access office information. This has led to reductions in the number of kilometres driven a day and to savings in fuel consumption, which has resulted on average in a reduction of 30kg of CO2 per week per user, or roughly the equivalent of driving a car 120 kilometres.
Also, some of the respondents indicated that they use less paper since using Next GTM. These workers are now reading more electronically, rather than printing. Previously, many of the respondents would print information to take with them on business trips, just in case they needed such information. However, with the introduction of Next GTM these workers can access their office database remotely, removing the need to print such information.
Econtech conducted detailed interviews with 26 businesses, from 15 industries, with an average seven-and-a-half month usage of Next G(TM). Next GTM went live in October 2006, providing best-in-class mobile coverage to 98 percent of Australia's population."
Participants were asked to identify the extent to which the use of mobile broadband reduced the kilometres they drove, and the extent to which their use of paper and physical mail was reduced. The extent of reductions varied by individual and industry, with the greatest reductions being achieved by mobile sales staff covering large territories.
Bill Zikou, President, Ericsson Australia, says: "Ericsson believes that information and communication technology will play a key role in shaping a low carbon economy for the future. Ericsson is consciously investigating ways to reduce carbon emissions through the smart use of telecommunications. This study is one concrete example where this ambition has been realized in a developed market."
Dr. Philip Burgess, Telstra's Group Managing Director of Public Policy and Communication, added: "The telecommunications sector is uniquely placed to provide important services that can yield nationally significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. This report has identified yet another way in which the astute use of high-capacity mobile broadband can simultaneously improve business productivity and reduce environmental impact."
None of the respondents were able to identify ways in which their use of mobile broadband had led to changes in work practices that would lead to negative environmental impacts. The Econtech report acknowledged that it was not able to consider the "whole of life" environmental impacts related to mobile networks and mobile handsets. Information regarding the carbon footprint of telecommunication is available from Ericsson, who has conducted extensive Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) work on the environmental impacts of mobile communications worldwide.
Ericsson is the world's leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. The market leader in 2G and 3G mobile technologies, Ericsson supplies communications services and manages networks that serve more than 185 million subscribers. The company's portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure, and broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and developers. The Sony Ericsson joint venture provides consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices.
Ericsson is advancing its vision of "communication for all" through innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions. Working in 175 countries, more than 70,000 employees generated revenue of USD 27.9 billion (SEK 188 billion) in 2007. Founded in 1876 and headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on the Stockholm, London and NASDAQ stock exchanges.
For more information, visit www.ericsson.com or www.ericsson.mobi.
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