Global warming needs to be limited to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels. To achieve this, there is a need to halve global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 and reach Net Zero GHG emissions by 2050 at the latest. To contribute to this goal, a rapidly growing number of communications service providers and equipment vendors are committing to achieving Net Zero carbon emissions across their value chain by 2050 or earlier. The telecommunications sector has a key role to play in addressing global sustainability goals, by reducing its own emissions and enabling the digitalization of a range of services and industries. According to Ericsson research, the usage of ICT solutions in other sectors has the potential to reduce emissions by 15 percent by 2030.
One approach that reduces environmental impact, facilitating enterprises’ journeys to Net Zero, is dematerialization. ICT solutions have the potential to lessen the need for material usage by substituting physical products with digital products and services, within both the ICT and other sectors. In this edition, we share some enterprise decision-makers’ views on how ICT solutions and connectivity are enablers that facilitate their journey toward Net Zero. Augmented reality presents yet another significant opportunity for dematerialization, as use cases for both consumers and enterprises include substituting physical with virtual processes.
5G services have now been launched by 228 service providers, and over 700 5G smartphone models have been announced or launched commercially. We expect to approach 1 billion 5G users worldwide by the end of this year. Moreover, global mobile network data traffic is practically doubling every two years.
To reduce the environmental impact, the growing data traffic needs to be managed with smart network modernization, combined with a balanced approach to network performance and use of energy-saving functionality to break the trend of increasing energy usage in mobile networks. As described in this edition, service providers are taking actions to deploy the latest generation of energy-efficient radio hardware and software, increase the use of renewable energy sources and operate site infrastructure intelligently, for example by implementing predictive-maintenance methods on site. Download the full report