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Over 90% of operators concerned about rising energy costs for 5G and edge


Estimates suggest networks’ energy consumption could increase as much as 170% by 2026.

Vertiv and analyst firm 451 Research released the findings of an in-depth survey that reveals more than 90% of respondents think 5G will result in higher energy costs and are interested in technologies and services that are energy efficient.

This is consistent with analysis by Vertiv, which reveals 5G is likely to increase network energy consumption by 150 to170 percent by 2026. The largest increases will be in the areas of macro cells, nodes and network data centres.

At MCW2018, Vertiv developed a global energy saving as a service contract for Telefónica, covering all facets, from initial site assessment to maintenance services and infrastructure solutions for core and access sites. With its partners and customers, Vertiv is developing new infrastructure, software and services to help manage the energy requirements associated with 5G and to optimise energy use.

Close to the edge

The survey questioned more than 100 operators from around the world about the opportunities and obstacles of deploying 5G services, and the adoption of edge computing.

Over a third (37%) of respondents have already deployed edge computing in their network infrastructure and almost half (47%) plan to.

“This survey brings us clarity on telecom operators’ hopes and fears around 5G and edge deployments”, said Brian Partridge, VP at for 451 Research. “The two toughest connectivity challenges for supporting 5G topologies were revealed to be upgrading access and aggregation layer networks and adding new backhaul links.

“Respondents indicated that the availability of high-quality connectivity to distributed POPs [point of presence] and ease of site acquisition were viewed as the most critical enablers to 5G success. We were frankly surprised by some of these results and believe it brings clarity to the level of transformation the industry now faces.”

Giordano Albertazzi, President at Vertiv in Europe, Middle East and Africa, commented, “The challenge for operators…will be choosing the most mature use cases, verticals and ecosystems where they can play a meaningful and sustainable role.”