New ITU work supports environmental sustainability of 5G systems

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5GII

By ITU

ITU’s standardization expert group for ‘environment and circular economy’, ITU-T Study Group 5, is inviting contributions to its emerging study of the environmental requirements of 5G systems.

The first ITU technical report to result from this study offers an initial assessment of the methods and metrics required to evaluate the energy efficiency of future 5G systems. The report is undergoing final editing and can be downloaded in pre-published form here.

Additionally, ITU-T Study Group 5 is in the process of developing a new ITU international standard detailing sustainable power feeding solutions for 5G networks, as well as two new ITU technical reports — one providing an analysis of 5G systems resistibility and the other an analysis of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) aspects and the definition of requirements for 5G mobile systems.

“ITU-T Study Group 5 is taking a proactive approach to the environmental sustainability of emerging technologies,” said Chaesub Lee, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. “This work will contribute to the environmental sustainability of the ICT sector as well as the many other industry sectors scaling-up their application of ICTs as enabling technologies to increase efficiency and innovate their service offerings.”

Up to 100x network energy efficiency

The 5G standardization process seeks to increase network energy efficiency by “a factor at least as great as the envisaged traffic capacity increase of IMT-2020 [5G] relative to IMT-Advanced [4G] for enhanced Mobile Broadband.” (Recommendation ITU-R M.2083)

Achieving this target in scenarios such as enhanced Mobile Broadband hotspots will demand an increase in network energy efficiency by a factor as great as 100.

“Policymakers and industry players look to ITU-T Study Group 5 for authoritative guidance on ICTs’ relationship with our environment,” said Victoria Sukenik, Chairman of ITU-T Study Group 5. “Our contribution to the environmental sustainability of 5G systems will build on our established expertise in the measurement of energy efficiency, resistibility, electromagnetic compatibility and the responsible management of electromagnetic fields.”

ITU-T Study Group 5 will develop energy efficiency metrics and measurement methodologies for 5G industry players to gauge the success of their efforts to improve energy efficiency, in addition developing requirements for energy-efficient power feeding solutions.

The group will contribute to the reliability of 5G systems by ensuring their resistibility to electromagnetic disturbances such as those caused by lightning, while the group’s development of EMC requirements will support the interference-free operation of 5G systems.

The expansion of ICT networks calls for the responsible management of human exposure to the electromagnetic fields (EMF) emitted by wireless communications infrastructure. The standards developed by ITU-T Study Group 5 in this domain will assist in ensuring citizens’ safety and help administrations to provide clear information on EMF to the communities that they serve.

ITU support for cohesive 5G innovation

In 2012, ITU established a programme on “International Mobile Telecommunications for 2020 and beyond (IMT-2020)“, providing the framework for 5G research and development worldwide. ITU has defined the framework and overall objectives of the 5G standardization process, as well as the roadmap to guide this process to its conclusion by 2020.

ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) is coordinating the international standardization and identification of spectrum for 5G mobile development. ITU’s Standardization Sector (ITU-T) will play a similar convening role for the technologies and architectures of the wireline elements of 5G systems.

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