Breaking into European Digital Infrastructure Markets: Drivers and Trends

Second blog in a three-part series – ESG Implications

The digital world has become essential to daily life, as proven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Driving a digital transition requires investments in infrastructure – data centers, fiber networks and wireless communication towers that can support data growth and connectivity needs by improving density, speed and reliability of the network.

Data centers serve a variety of functions and are essential for hosting edge and cloud workloads. Wireless communication towers are the last mile for all mobile devices and serve as the primary connection hub for 5G, fixed wireless and edge computing.

This second blog in our three-part series, based on our recent webinar, highlights environmental considerations and the role governments and global corporations play in achieving our environmental goals.

  • be green is becoming increasingly important for investors, but also helps to optimize assets. This optimization goes hand in hand with M&A activity, particularly around digital infrastructure and passives.
  • There are opportunities for fiber and ESG optimization. A survey of 101 telecom and 42 cable professionals around the world last year showed that environmental impact was a key factor in the decision to go fiber.
  • Technology alone is not enough to achieve environmental goals, and businesses and governments must play a key role. For example, Telia, a Nordic company, uses its influence with suppliers to help promote low-carbon operations. By the end of the year, suppliers representing 16% of the company’s total supply chain emissions had set science-based targets.
  • There is also momentum for sustainable technology beyond individual stocks. The European Green Digital Coalition founded in March 2021 is an example, and its plans include the continuous improvement of networks and data centers and the deployment of green digital technologies.
  • Fiber is effective. Gigabit Passive Optical Networks (GPON) showed an 8.9% improvement in total power consumption over VDSL vectoring, and a 36.7% improvement over cable. GPONs are also passive networks with virtually no optical elements between the central office and the end customer.
  • Proximus, a Belgian telecom operator, highlighted the environmental benefits of fibre. According to the firm, data transmission over fiber consumes up to 12 times less energy than copper. In addition, the production of 2 kilograms of copper wire leads to the emission of 1,000 kilograms of CO2, compared to 0.06 kilogram for fiber. The same goes for 5G, which has been shown to be up to 90% more efficient than 4G in terms of energy consumption per unit of traffic.
  • On fixed networks, the clearest short-term benefit for operators in terms of ESG and revenue will be the withdrawal of copper networks, with the eventual switch from cable to full fiber. Shutdown times for copper networks are still not universally transparent in Europe, as much depends on the transition to fiber and the shift of third-party network operators to new networks.
  • Massive growth in data consumption is expected. This will increasing power consumption with the need to support even more devices and new services like IoT.

We provide an integrated suite of ESG solutions that provide access to a comprehensive view of data and analysis on ESG issues for more informed decision-making. To learn more, click here.

Listen on demand to the full webinar, Breaking into Europe’s Digital Infrastructure Markets: Drivers and trends.

Read the first blog HERE.

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