2022-03-24 Author:By Stephanie Lynch-Habib   Click:
Insights on Current 5G Deployment and Future - ztetechnologies
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Insights on Current 5G Deployment and Future

Release Date:2022-03-24  Author:By Stephanie Lynch-Habib  Click:

Editor's note: GSMA CMO Stephanie Lynch-Habib shares her thoughts on the development of 5G and calls for a joint effort to build a smarter, greener world powered by 5G at an online event themed on 5G Growing at MWC 2022.

Today, I am excited to share some insights on current 5G deployment and what the future might hold. This year marks 40 years since the founding of GSM, an initiative to design a pan-European mobile technology. It's not that long ago. But I wonder when those leaders gathered to start the GSM, did they have any idea of what the future of mobile might look like? Did they understand how ubiquitous it would become? Did they imagine a world in which 5G technology would exist, allowing us to develop smarter homes, energy and transport systems, truly unleashing the power of connectivity around the world? 
For the past 10 years, 5G has been the key buzzword in the mobile industry. We've imagined it, researched it, debated it and developed it. And now we are finally seeing it come to life in the mainstream market. 2021 was a pivotal year for 5G rollout. By the end of last year, 176 mobile operators in 70 markets had launched 5G services. And by the end of this year, there will be 1 billion 5G connections globally. By 2025, we expect 5G to account for a quarter of total mobile connections across the world. 
Right now, most of the growth is happening in pioneer markets, such as the developed Asia-Pacific region, North America, Greater China, the GCC Arab states and Europe. But we are also starting to see a new wave of 5G rollouts in large markets with modest income levels such as Brazil, Indonesia and India. And this is exciting because affordability is so often a barrier to entry in emerging markets. 
If 5G is the way of future, we need to be sure that we can get affordable handsets to consumers in these markets. With this new wave of rollouts, we'll start to see the industry more incentivized for the mass production of affordable 5G devices. And as we get more 5G devices into the hands of consumers, we'll begin to see the development of a range of 5G applications to cater to their diverse needs.
As 5G becomes more mainstream, we are starting to see 5G standalone take off. By the end of 2021, there were 22 commercial 5G standalone networks in 16 countries. Around the world, 5G standalone is opening up new opportunities for collaboration between mobile operators and different enterprises. For example, Softbank and Honda have been working together to develop car systems that will reduce car collision with pedestrians. In Spain, Telefonica is exploring use cases that range from guided robot vehicles to remote maintenance systems. This is just the beginning. As we move from an era of simple connectivity to one of meaningful connectivity, the mobile sector will play a central partnership role across enterprise verticals. 
But as we look to the future and imagine what it could be, we must also ensure that we are using our enabling role as an industry to build a sustainable future for all. Connected technologies will play a key role in tackling some of the biggest challenges facing the planet today. Last year, the GSMA called on business leaders and policymakers to use mobile connectivity and smart technology to achieve net zero by 2050. Our research found that smart technology and mobile connectivity can dramatically reduce emissions and increase energy efficiency. The findings assume halving by 2030, as called for by the "Exponential Roadmap Initiative", in line with limiting global heating to 1.5C. Our research shows that smart tech and mobile connectivity could contribute 40% of the required carbon emissions savings to 2030, across energy, transport, manufacturing and the buildings sector.  
To achieve net zero by 2050, carbon emissions from the global energy sector need to be reduced by 50% by 2030. Our research showed that 46% of the cut required in carbon emission could come from the rollout of connected wind and solar grids, equivalent to decommissioning around 1000 coal-fired power plants by 2030. And with smart grids, businesses could more accurately monitor their systems, responding to fluctuating energy demands. Since implementing smart-grid equipment on electricity lines, Telia in Sweden has already seen a 25% increase in power-line capacity. 
The manufacturing sector is another big source of GHG emissions. Based on our research outlined above, 16% of the carbon reductions required in manufacturing could be provided by smart manufacturing processes, equivalent to 1.4 gigatonnes of CO2, equivalent to the emissions from manufacturing 140 million cars. This is not just good for the planet. It's good for the businesses too. In China, Foxconn's Industrial Internet "Lights-Off" factory has increased its production efficiency by 30% using connected technologies. But today, connected technologies are only being used in 1% of factories around the world. So the opportunity is enormous.
As you can see, the mobile industry is in a unique position to play an enabling role across the globe. But we must make sure that we also play our part. In 2019, the GSMA Board set an ambition for the mobile sector to reach net zero emissions by 2050. We are now one of the leading sectors within the space, recognized by the United Nations "Race to Zero" as one of the first Breakthrough Sectors. We now have 80% of operators by revenue disclosing their climate impacts. Mobile operators covering around two thirds of industry revenues have committed to science-based targets, and one third of the mobile industry by revenue has credibly committed to net zero emissions by 2050 or earlier through the UN Race to Zero campaign. 
So what does the future look like? Smart factories, smart energy, smart businesses, smart homes. This list will continue to grow. And connected technologies powered by 5G will drive it all. 5G truly is the frontier area of growth with so much opportunity to innovate. But of course it has to be a joint effort. We must work together as businesses, governments, and policymakers to support rapid and sustainable 5G growth across the world and ensure we leave no one behind. Together we can unleash the power of connectivity to build a smarter, greener world for us all.