I was asked to write something for world environment day in Montage, a local news magazine, and I wrote about how mobile could reduce the need for travel (in the long run) and thus postpone the inundation of the Maldives. It appears I did not cover all aspects of the problem . . .
Mobile network energy consumption currently stands at 61 billion kWH worldwide, with each of the many millions of base stations producing almost 10 tonnes of carbon emissions every year. How can there not be room for improvement?
Conservative estimates project that this consumption will double by 2011, totalling 449 billion kWH over this five-year period, at a cost in excess of $US42 billion. Actix, to its credit, is hard-hitting: the largest mobile network operators produce more carbon per year than some of the largest car rental companies, with the top 20 carriers worldwide accounting for almost 40% of total emissions by wireless networks.
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