The recent pandemic has opened people’s eyes to the importance of the internet. Some may go further and propose that the internet is no longer a privilege but a rather basic human necessity. With this increased demand for fast connectivity and less network disruption, a worldwide 5G network rollout is greatly anticipated by both users and service providers alike. With that being said, there are multiple factors to consider, such as infrastructure, national policies, network security, costs, and last but not least, the environment. 

 

In this article, VIAVI Solutions aims to provide an in-depth analysis of the positive effects of the 5G network on the environment. It would be beneficial to note that not all the environmental impacts of the 5G network have been discovered, as a worldwide 5G implementation has not happened just yet. 

 

Reduced CO2 Emissions

It has been widely known that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions highly contribute to global warming. A research team from the University of Zurich and Empa concluded that the greater efficiencies of the 5G technology could pave the way for environmentally sustainable innovations and eventually lower carbon emissions. Envision smart grid, fully automated vehicles, agricultural data precision, and many more technological advancements are made possible through the high speed and low latency of the 5G network. According to the researchers, the 5G network could potentially lower carbon emissions by 85% per unit of data transported in 2030. 

 

Autonomous and Electric Vehicles 

Although autonomous and electric vehicles have been predicted to dominate the market in 2020 (source), the challenges pertaining to their creation and implementation proved to be more than the current experts can handle. However, the long-awaited time of autonomous vehicles is said to alter the patterns and human behavior around transportation. For instance, fewer people will have their cars, as ride-sharing systems and processes are fully automated from end to end.  

 

With fewer personal vehicles, fewer parking garages, parking lots, and cars will need to be constructed and manufactured, positively impacting the overall carbon footprint. Most self-driving cars will be electric, which means that there will be less need for fossil fuels and the environmental consequences of obtaining them. 

 

Remote Lifestyle 

A humongous shift in the way people work has happened within the last year and a half. As a result, more companies and employees now prefer remote work where there’s more freedom of choice when it comes to the location of work. Some employees prefer working from home, in a cafe, or maybe in another country. The workforce has surely been spoiled with choices and freedom, which they would be unlikely to let go of after the pandemic is officially over. 

 

This remote style of work does rely heavily on the quality of the internet connection. This is because important meetings, rosters, and work platforms are primarily cloud-based. Especially with the 5G network rollout, it only makes sense to expect even more innovations and technological advancements that further push remote working environments to be the norm. 

 

For the environment, remote work undoubtedly decreases the workforce commute, which has lead to clearer skies, less air pollution, and lower levels of carbon emissions. Not only that, but the decrease in demand for office buildings and parking lots would mean that minor construction will be required, which is beneficial to the land and the environment. 

 

In Conclusion

The 5G network has indeed been anticipated in many countries. It provides higher connection speed and lower latency, potentially altering the way we live, work, and play for the better. Through the points listed above, the environment will significantly benefit from more intelligent and more automated vehicles and cities through the overall reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. 

 

VIAVI Solutions has been an early driver in 5G adoption since 2013, and we continue to deliver innovative and cost-effective 5G testing tools to customers. Whether you’re looking to implement new fiber networks or conduct testing on existing networks, VIAVI can assist you with any 5G validation, 5G testing, and 5G visibility needs you may have. Our industry-leading offerings deliver end-to-end network solutions

Learn more about comprehensive portfolios by visiting our website or contacting us today.

 

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Channel Marketing Manager - APAC

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