Streaming Video Wirelessly is An Energy Hog 

New Study Finds  5G Doubles GreenHouse Gas Emissions While Fiber Optic Video Streaming is Far More Efficient 

Streaming high-definition videos and games with wireless 3G technology can result in exponentially more greenhouse gas emissions as compared to corded fiber optic cable connections, according to a study by Germany’s Federal Environment agency. 

The key findings of the study include:

  1. Fiber optic is the most climate-friendly transmission technology.
  2. Network access via broadband cables is more efficient than mobile network access. 
  3. Streaming with 5G results in over twice the greenhouse gas emissions per hour when compared to corded/wired fiber optic connections. 
  4. Streaming with 4G results in over six times the greenhouse gas emissions compared to corded/wired fiber optic connections. 
  5. Streaming with 3G results in almost 50 times the greenhouse gas emissions compared to corded/wired fiber optic connections. 

“The reality is that companies are planning for billions of new wirelessly connected devices, which will exponentially increase energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Industry is pushing “5G” phones which rely on 4G,” stated Theodora Scarato, Executive Director of Environmental Health Trust, who pointed to numerous reports that show wireless increases our carbon footprint. 

“The widespread rollout of 5G will not cut energy consumption. 5G is a classic case of the Jevons Paradox. The push for 5G will increase our energy use. First, 5G clearly uses more energy than wired connections. Second, industry projects global mobile devices will grow from 8.8 billion in 2018 to 13.1 billion by 2023. In economics, the Jevons Paradox is when technological progress increases the efficiency with which a resource is used, however because the demand and consumption also increases, the end result is overall increased use of the resource, despite efficiency gains.” 

Secondary insurers have refused to cover damages from electromagnetic fields for decades. Insurance authority Swiss Re classifies 5G as a “High Impact” emerging risk, comparable to asbestos. In 10 K reports to the Federal Trade Commission, telecommunications companies warn shareholders, “We cannot guarantee that claims relating to radio frequency emissions will not arise in the future or that the results of such studies will not be adverse to us.” 

While the impacts of wireless expansion on wildlife and the tree canopy have eluded major headlines, investigations into 5G’s higher frequencies warn of serious consequences for bees and for humans. Wireless is scientifically linked to cancer, behavioral and reproductive effects.

Joint release by the Federal Environment Ministry and the German Environment Agency Video streaming: data transmission technology crucial for climate footprint Fibre optic video transmission is nearly 50 times more efficient than UMTS

PDF of Report Summary in English Source: Environmental Health Trust