Sustainability in connectivity

June 12, 2023 | 4 minute read
Andrew Morawski
Executive Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Communications
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It comes as no surprise that sustainability and greener energy practices have become a critical business initiative across every industry. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives have moved beyond a corporate responsibility into a critical business priority. In their 2022 report, Gartner found nearly 70% of the CEO’s they surveyed plan to invest in new sustainable products and in making existing products more sustainable. Nine percent even put it among their top three business priorities. This isn’t just for the betterment of the environment, which is of course the driving cause. But 86% of business leaders also see sustainability as an investment that protects their organization from disruption, and 80% see it as a way to help their organization optimize and reduce costs.

Out with the old, in with the (re)new-able energy

In the telecommunications industry there is an increased interest in the use of renewable energy sources to power infrastructure, particularly in rural areas where traditional energy resources (power grids, diesel generators) may be unreliable or costly to maintain.  Additionally, energy costs are a massive component of an operators network operating expenses, and with rising costs in oil and gas, there’s a clear cost benefit to seeking alternative energy resources. In fact, according to GSMA Intelligence, energy consumption accounted for between 15% and 40% of operators’ operating expenditure in 2021, with estimates placing those metrics even higher in the following years.

Fortunately, recent advancements in solar, wind, biomass energy-based options, and also storage technologies offer a promising alternative with a significantly reduced environmental impact. Using renewable energy systems to operate base stations and towers can drive change, and we’re already seeing this take shape in our world today. Though many telecom service providers who have adopted renewable energy-based hybrid systems are using them to pilot the practice - or have adopted them for a small number of towers - these installations prove it’s technically feasible. Not only to combat energy consumption and emissions, but also to show that these hybrid systems are economically viable and can reduce operating costs.

However, it’s not just the way we operate our networks that have far reaching environmental impacts. The advent of 5G, and the low latency and high-speed at which it can deliver vast amounts of data can also usher improvements to other industries. Take for example, transportation and the increase in electric and hybrid vehicles.

With more electric vehicles anticipated on the road than ever before, a reliable communications network  to support connecting the increasing number of EV charging stations will be necessary. A cloud native 5G network is robust and scalable and can enable operators to provide connectivity to support the increasing array of advanced capabilities we see in electric vehicles, such as autonomous driving systems. It can also support the real-time information needed by mobile applications to identify and communicate with charging stations.  Additionally, if outages are impacting any fixed connectivity to the charging station or charging station system, operators can use a 5G network slice as needed to ensure an optimized backup connection, ensuring people can still access and use the charging stations.

Cloud computing for the greater good

Migration to the cloud has been championed as a best practice for service providers looking to deliver and monetize new 5G services. We know cloud native network functions offer the agility and scalability needed to bring new services to market faster and with lower costs. However, the use of cloud-based solutions can have an incredible impact on a company’s carbon footprint. An Accenture analysis suggests migrations to the public cloud can reduce global carbon emissions by 59 million tons of CO2 per year. It’s the equivalent of taking 22 million cars off the road. 

With estimates that public cloud spending is poised to surge to 45% of all enterprise IT spending by 2026, moving data center infrastructure and resources to the cloud offers a sizable impact on our world. For businesses evaluating their ESG strategies, leveraging cloud infrastructure and cloud-based solutions should be top of the list. This means organizations are not only more agile, cost-efficient, and innovative in how they operate, but they’ll be proactively taking steps to reduce energy usage and meet their sustainability goals. In fact, Accenture’s report showed that by configuring applications for the cloud, companies can even stretch carbon emission reduction to 98%. With the advent of 5G and 5G SA, operators have an incredible opportunity to utilize cloud native network functions and applications to further reduce their carbon footprint.

I’ve been proud of the progress Oracle is making in this endeavor. Not only are we deeply committed to our own ESG benchmarks, but our sustainable cloud operations and cloud applications are helping our customers run their own businesses at lower costs and with less energy use. We’ve embedded sustainability into the way we work; we’re targeting 100% renewable energy use by 2025, we’ll achieve net zero emissions by 2050, and in FY22 I’m proud to say we reused and recycled 99.9% of our retired hardware.

True change won’t happen overnight, but the data clearly shows we’ve made the technical strides to make it possible. While cloud and 5G are supporting all new avenues of how we communicate, work, and interact with the world around us, they also are offering a lifeline to our current climate crisis.

About Oracle Communications:
Oracle Communications provides integrated communications and cloud solutions for Service Providers and Enterprises to accelerate their digital transformation journey in a communications-driven world from network evolution to digital business to customer experience. To learn more about Oracle Communications industry solutions, subscribe to our blog and visit: Oracle Communications LinkedIn, or join the conversation at Twitter @OracleComms.

Andrew Morawski

Executive Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Communications

Andrew Morawski is Executive Vice President and General Manager of Oracle Communications. As leader of Oracle’s telecommunications industry global business unit, Morawski is responsible for managing sales, strategic planning, product development, service, and support for Oracle’s Communications products.

Prior to joining Oracle, Morawski was President and Country Chairman for Vodafone in the Americas, responsible for the management, compliance, governance and integration of all Vodafone entities in the region. He joined Vodafone in 2012 through the acquisition of Cable & Wireless Worldwide as Head of Internet of Things (IoT), responsible for leading Vodafone’s IoT sales, strategy and operational initiatives in North and South America.

Earlier in his career, Morawski worked for Telstra in multiple roles including President and CEO of Telstra Inc, leading the Americas region for Telstra International. He has also held senior management roles with organizations such as Nortel where he managed the relationship between Nortel and SBC through the acquisition of Pacific Bell and SNET.

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