French telecom federation FFTelecoms published a set of simulations showing that its members would be able to cut their power consumption in a number of scenarios where the drive to meet mobile coverage obligations is softened. The analysis aims to quantify the impact of coverage and connectivity targets on energy use, so that the government can study the findings in view of the current challenges around sustainability. 

Among the main conclusions, FFTelecoms members found that they could make an energy saving of 5 percent on their 2023 projections by implementing changes in six different areas, including 5G deployments across rural communities on 3.5 GHz frequencies and new cell site installations within the ‘New Deal’ coverage programme, also focused on underserved areas. 

A study published by regulator Arcep in January showed that the roll-out of 5G initially generates an increase in energy consumption. In the most densely populated areas, deployments are expected to achieve energy efficiency gains relatively quickly due to high traffic density. Comparable quick benefits, however, cannot be realised in sparsely populated areas. 

This is confirmed by FFTelecoms’ latest analysis, which mentions that an existing 2G/3G/4G cell site sees a 40 percent rise in electricity usage when 5G is activated on 3.5 GHz spectrum.

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