Green ICT Development and Sustainability in the 5.5G Era

The future is fast approaching.

Organizations across industries are faced with embracing the digital advancements of our time while pushing for green development and sustainability.

Ronald van Loon is a Huawei partner and attended Win-Win Huawei Innovation Week in Shenzhen China, to learn about Green Informations and Communications Technology, or Green ICT.

Continuous innovation is required to support the solutions that are responsible for the green development of the ICT industry. ICT will also provide an integral role in helping industries achieve efficient green development.

Green ICT will act as the foundation for a digital future that’s built on technologies like 5.5G and artificial intelligence (AI). Our future will require powerful energy efficient network capabilities for information carrying capacity. This will drive incredible innovations across industries from smart cities to autonomous vehicles, enhance connectivity everywhere, and accelerate business and technology evolution.

The ICT industry is facing several challenges navigating a digital and intelligent world:

  • The increasing need to reduce carbon by at least 45% by 2030.
  • Meeting the demands and criteria for green infrastructure development.
  • Providing solutions that facilitate digital innovation across thousands of industries.
  • Improving energy efficiency due to the increase in general computing power and AI computing power.

Energy consumption will rise. Energy efficiency will be the cornerstone for ICT infrastructure development, and industries can further support green development and advance technology initiatives of their own by embracing ICT solutions.

If the world is going to embrace digital advancements moving into the future, it will need to be built on a foundation of Green ICT.

The Telecom Industry and Green Development

ICT infrastructures need to evolve in order to support the trajectory of green development solutions that initiate green sites, green networks, and green operations. This will be the key to unlocking energy efficiency enhancements that will drive energy conservation and emission reduction.

Changes to ICT infrastructure begin at the site level optimizing energy efficiency on main equipment and power supplies. Next, the network architecture is improved to incorporate full-optical, simplified and intelligent solutions. Lastly, operational enhancements can be made to better visualize and manage energy efficiency.

These energy efficient improvements to infrastructure can reduce carbon emissions by 10 times. For example in Germany, Huawei’s Powerstar solution was deployed which improved energy efficiency by 7%. This platform uses AI capabilities to optimize parameters that reduce energy consumption.

In Spain, Huawei Optical Cross-Connect, or OXC, improved energy efficiency by 81% and reduced costs by 29%. OXC brings agility and automation to optical switching systems using fiber, which is environmentally friendly.

Huawei and operators are collaborating to leverage solutions in industries like transportation and mining to create value through digitization. In Tianjin Port, a terminal was constructed based on China Mobile’s 5G connection and autopilot technology using 76 unmanned collectors. Energy consumption for single-box operation in the autopilot demonstration area was reduced by 20% and the comprehensive operation cost was reduced by 10%. The overall operation efficiency is improved by 15%.

Improving the energy efficiency of ICT infrastructure and enabling digital advancements across industries will take the commitment and focus of industries to establish energy efficient guidelines and energy efficient measurement baselines to further green development of the ICT industry.

The 5.5G Era

Huawei characterizes the 5.5G era to contain the following characteristics:

  • 10 Gbit/s experience
  • Business boundaries beyond connectivity
  • 10x the effective computing power
  • 10x storage performance
  • Autonomous driving network L4 high autonomy
  • Green development

Computing potential, expansive connections, new expanded services, advanced wireless sensing; this is what a glimpse into the near future affords us. 2025 will be defined by 5.5G and sustainable green development. Thousands of industries will require the capabilities to enable their services and applications through 5.5G capabilities.

5.5G will further intelligent decision making and digitization. The further we move into the future, the digital world will become deeply integrated with the physical world. It’s crucial that an information infrastructure can support digital upgrades across industries. This includes enabling autonomous driving, smart city developments, smart home applications, new virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) capabilities, and much more.

A Deeper Look at the 5.5G Era

Fiber optics will extend to every building and room of the house, providing extremely low latency fixed connections to achieve 10Gbit/s experiences. 2020 and beyond has been defined by organizations delving deeper into digital transformation. Businesses are exploring intelligent applications, such as for smart cities and smart factories, and commercializing these applications on a large scale.

The datacom industry will evolve and need the support of IPv6 technologies if enterprises are going to achieve flexible, high computing power with lower costs. Computing power networks must be able to balance computing power resources and network scheduling to unlock computing potential.

Communications will continue to develop and services will be expanded, which opens up innovative opportunities for organizations across industries. 5G and IoT are enabling countless industries, and it’s 5.5G that will really extend connectivity to amazing new applications and services.

For example, in wireless sensing 5.5G technologies, centimeter-level positioning precision, millimeter-level imaging resolution, and all-weather detection can be applied to vehicle-route collaboration, human health detection, real-time status detection, and inventory management.

As for IoT, billions of connections will be responsible for contributing to new experiences, applications, and operations for business across industries. NB-IoT chip shipments will reach an estimated 350 million by 2025, which opens up a passive IoT technology market space of hundreds of billions of connections.

But what makes the 5.5G era stand out is service enablement, and this requires the core network to concentrate on enabling industry applications and implementing in depth infrastructure convergence. An effective computing architecture will improve computing power by 10 times. Computing architectures need to be redefined to support diversity computing through transforming data centers into supercomputers, enhancing computing node layers, and improving chip density.

Also, a full-stack native AI will implement high L4 autonomy of autonomous driving networks. Full-stack native AI at the NE layer, network layer, and service layer, will provide users with “zero waiting, zero contact, and zero fault” network service experience.

The last component of a 5.5G era will be green development which requires reducing energy consumption and improving network efficiency. The 5.5G era will meet the demands from consumers and industries who require the enablement of new experiences and applications.

Green ICT

The ICT industry must be prepared to reduce carbon emissions amidst a digital intelligent future. Green development and sustainability will be necessary for the continuous innovation of the ICT industry, which will further enable thousands of other industries in achieving green development and sustainability goals of their own.

For more news and information about green developments and sustainability in ICT, please check out more information from Win-Win Huawei Innovation Week.

By Ronald van Loon