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Mobile Internet Impact on the environment in 5G era

——IGF 2020 Workshop #119 Successfully Held

Time:2020-11-20 14:32:00 Source: China Youth China Youth International

  On November 17, 2020, as one of 87 workshops that successfully passed the IGF MAG review of the 15th United Nations Internet Governance Forum (IGF 2020), the online workshop "Mobile Internet Impact on the Environment in the 5G Era" was successful Convened.

  This workshop was co-organized by the China Federation of Internet Societies, Communication University of China, and the University of Melbourne. Aiming to strengthen the attention and understanding of environmental changes in various countries under the background of the rapid development of mobile Internet, and promote all sectors of society to work together to improve and protect the environment, the conference invited representatives from relevant domestic and foreign authorities, universities, research institutions, and industry organizations to jointly provide suggestions on how 5G technology and applications can contribute to sustainable development.

  The meeting was co-chaired by Professor Thas Nirmalathas from the University of Melbourne and Associate Professor Ming Yan from Communication University of China.

  Professor Thas, head of the University of Melbourne’s electronics and photonics research, pointed out that although 5G mobile communication networks will require a large number of base stations, it will provide unprecedented broadband capabilities. From mission-critical applications to large-scale scalable sensor networks, 5G has the potential to do a variety of services and applications provide support, which will change the way we understand the energy footprint of services and network architectures.

  Associate Professor Ming Yan pointed out that in order to solve the energy consumption challenge caused by the large-scale deployment of 5G networks, which has attracted much attention, various clean energy and low-power devices have begun to be applied in 5G networks. Just as the 4G network has led us into the era of mobile Internet, 5G will surely bring brand-new technological upgrades to promote technological changes in different industries.

  "5G is leading us into the era of green communications, and China are working together with the world to realize the future green vision." CMCC Chief Scientist of Wireless Technologies Chih-Lin I said that during the 75th United Nations General Assembly, Chinese President Xi Jinping promised that China will achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. For this reason, CMCC has been seriously considering consuming electricity when building the world’s largest 5G network . Although the energy consumption of a 5G base station is about three or four times that of a 4G base station, the peak data rate of 5G is 15 times higher than that of 4G, which means that with the same power consumption, 5G can carry more traffic with higher energy efficiency.

  Schien Daniel, an academic and computer scientist at the University of Bristol in the UK, believes that establishing energy consumption models for different parts of the digital service supply chain can help to reduce energy and related carbon emissions, and shared four suggestions: First, use as much renewable energy as possible in the network. Second, it is recommended to comprehensively report energy consumption so that operators, media, consumers, and the public sector can make better decisions. Third, energy consumption services should be more intuitive and transparent. At last he hoped that there will be more cross-departmental cooperation between infrastructure providers and media organizations.

  Steven Moore is responsible for the Climate Action Programme at the GSMA. He pointed out that about 4% of the world's electricity is used in the information and communication technology sector, and GSMA, as an industry association representing mobile operators, promised to achieve net zero emissions in the mobile industry by 2050. He suggested that the management of carbon emissions must have carbon emissions transparency, not only to do a good job of digital emission reduction, that is, to use smart connection technology in the mobile field and outside to reduce carbon emissions, but also to improve the ability of suppliers to ensure equipment sustainability. In addition, the potential development of 5G will help other industries to reduce carbon emissions, such as smart agriculture, smart buildings, and energy sectors that rely on networks. Interconnection can ensure smart manufacturing and smart management of energy.

  Mieczkowski Piotr, managing director of the Poland Digital Foundation, pointed out that smart grids, the Internet of Things, and 5G connections are the basis for large-scale digitization of the energy industry and are necessary conditions for reaching an EU green agreement. Some are under the coordination of the British 5G Association or the European Union, more than 50 vertical field examples have been tested throughout Europe. He is full of vision for the development of 5G, "In Poland, we are waiting for the implementation of 5G to achieve green energy management."

  Roberto Zambrana is the former Chair of the Board of the ISOC Bolivian Chapter and coordinator of Bolivian National Regional Initiative (NRI). He pointed out that the differences in the development of 5G technology between different regions and countries should be considered. Encourage operators in underdeveloped areas to first modernize 3G and 4G infrastructure, and take into account ecological benefits and low-carbon strategies when designing and deploying 5G networks. Operators should pay attention to reviewing the frequency band allocation to reduce the cost of access to the new frequency band spectrum required for 5G. He called on the governments of countries and regions to sign multilateral agreements to implement a joint strategy and establish a common regulatory system for Internet mobile broadband services.

  After heated discussions, the pannel clearly pointed out that the development of mobile Internet in the 5G era has indeed brought a lot of convenience to the society, and the correct use of 5G technology and applications will help reduce carbon emissions and achieve sustainable environmental development. As Ming Yan said, “During the COVID-19 epidemic, remote consultation and medical treatment based on 5G technology played a great role. This not only solved the problem of unbalanced medical conditions, but also reduced a lot of energy consumption.” But at the same time, in the follow-up efforts of 5G, environmental, climate and other related factors also need to be considered. We hope that through the sharing of the guests in the seminar, the eyes of all sectors of society can focus on environmental issues, which will not only accelerate the process of large-scale popularization of 5G networks, but also provide a guarantee for the sustainable development of the subsequent digital economy.

  The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a global multi-stakeholder platform that facilitates discussions on public policy issues pertaining to Internet governance. The establishment of the IGF was formally announced by the United Nations Secretary-General in July 2006. The Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the IGF was officially opened online during 2-17 November. Under the overarching theme Internet for human resilience and solidarity, the program develops around the four main thematic tracks: (1) Data; (2) Environment; (3) Inclusion; (4) Trust.


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