Nevertheless, this statement from Actix claims the mobile phone network has a carbon footprint equivalent to 6,900 transatlantic flights. Remember though, that they’re selling services to improve energy efficiency, so that’s bound to be the case.
Actix says mobile network operators are creating a global annual excess carbon footprint equivalent to running nearly 3 million 3-bedroom family homes.
“Mobile network energy consumption currently stands at 61 billion kWH worldwide, with each of the multi-millions of base stations producing almost 10 tonnes of carbon emissions every year. Conservative estimates project that this consumption will double by 2011, totaling 449 billion kWH over the five year period, at a cost in excess of £22 billion. The largest mobile network operators produce more carbon per year than some of the largest car rental companies, with the top 20 carriers worldwide accounting for almost 40% of total emissions by wireless networks.
By reducing network base station usage by just 15%, mobile operators could save £3.8 billion – the equivalent of 28 billion kg of CO2 or of a jumbo jet flying from London to New York and back every day for the next 165 years. Reducing global mobile network energy consumption by 20% in 2007 alone would equate to a 1% cut in annual global emissions from airlines.”