5G is Taking Off, but What is the Impact on Energy Requirements?

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By Jake Saunders | 4Q 2019 | IN-5651


5G Will Show Exponential Growth


5G is rapidly taking shape and form. As of the end of August 2019, the Global Supplier Association (GSA) reported that 296 operators in 100 countries have licensed, tested, trialed, or carried out a launch of 5G, out of which, 56 operators in 32 countries have announced the infrastructure deployment of 5G and 39 operators have announced limited or full scale 5G service launches.

With this commercial momentum, there will be an associated growth in 5G subscriptions as well as traffic. At the end of 2018, worldwide subscriptions totaled 7.9 billion, while 47% of subscriptions were 4G LTE. 5G is expected to grow rapidly. ABI Research forecasts 5G subscriptions will start to hit critical mass by 2022 and reach 3 billion by 2025. The associated traffic will follow a similar explosive growth trajectory. 5G subscribers may only represent 54% of total subscriptions in 2025, but they represent 79% of the total traffic generated in 2025.

This is a very rosy outlook for 5G, but there is increasingly both growing interest and concern over the energy supply requirement for 5…

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