If wireless networks transfer 1,000 times more data, does that mean they will use 1,000 times more energy? It probably would with the old 4G LTE wireless technologies— LTE doesn’t have much of a sleep-standby. But with 5G, we might have a more energy-efficient option.
More customers want Earth-friendly options, and engineers are now working on how to achieve it — meaning 5G might introduce the first zero-carbon networks. It’s not all certain, though.
“When the 4G technology for wireless communication was developed, not many people thought about how much energy is consumed in transmitting bits of information,” says Emil Björnson, associate professor of communication systems at Linkoping University, in an article on the school’s website.