Electricity-intensive mobile phones

Mobile phones alone consume 58% of the electricity used by telecom networks. The fixed network consumes 42% of the sector’s energy.

While the environmental impact of digital technology is regularly identified, the French Communications Authority (Arcep) has pledged to measure the energy consumption of fixed and mobile telecom networks. This represents less than 1% of France’s electricity consumption, but it is increasing at 5% annually. Which is relatively small compared to uses, which jumped 50% in 2020 and 29% in 2019.

Mobile phones alone consume 58% of the electricity used by telecom networks. The fixed network consumes 42% of the sector’s energy.

However, the copper network (which supports ADSL) has an average consumption per subscriber that is four times higher than that of fiber. Transition from copper to fiber “It thus leads to a significant reduction in power consumption per subscription to fixed access networks, a reduction that should continue in the coming years.”notes Arcep in its first annual survey of sustainable digital technology.

Used hardware group is slipping

Telecom operators have other tools to reduce their environmental footprint, notably by working on terminal marketing. Computers, monitors and other phones account for 79% of the digital carbon footprint.

Therefore recycling or recycling these devices is essential to the preservation of the planet. But while the four national carriers sold 8.1 million smartphones last year, only 155 thousand were refurbished. The range of devices used also skates, with 710,000 peripherals recovered. The majority of unused phones are kept by their owners.

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Brooke Vargas

"Devoted gamer. Webaholic. Infuriatingly humble social media trailblazer. Lifelong internet expert."

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