Vodafone Sustainability Report Finds 5G and IoT Ready to Move UK to Net Zero Emissions
by Ron Westfall and Shelly Kramer | September 24, 2021

For this vignette of a recent episode of the Futurum Tech Webcast, part of the 5G Factor series, analysts Ron Westfall and Shelly Kramer examine a report from Vodafone and WPI Economics advocating on the UK government to accelerate the deployment of 5G and IoT technology to help meet zero emission goals by 2050.

Their discussion covered:

  • The shrewd timing of Vodafone lobbying the UK government to advance nationwide sustainability goals after working with Ericsson to improve 5G network efficiency capabilities across the London portion of its network.
  • How digital 5G and IoT technology can accelerate the attainment of UK net zero emission objectives (i.e., 4% reduction per annum) by targeting three verticals in particular: Manufacturing, Transportation, and Agriculture.
  • Why Vodafone’s proactive stance in working with the UK government to advance nationwide sustainability goals has society-wide benefits and not only telecommunications.

Ron and Shelly view Vodafone’s approach to working with the UK government in offering practical 5G and IoT solutions across three key industry verticals to achieve nationwide zero emission goals is laudatory and merits emulation by other mobile ecosystem players.

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Shelly Kramer: And as the last part of our show, we’re winding down here and we are going to touch base on more good and cutting emissions and some other things that 5G can do that we think are pretty cool that you might want to know about. So let’s talk about the new sustainability report that was released today by Vodafone and WPI Economics.

Ron Westfall: Oh yes. Thank you, Shelly. I think it’s something we touched on last week. The fact that Erickson and Vodafone were collaborating to improve the emissions across Vodafone’s UK network and London area, particularly. And we were noting that this has society-wide implications. Well, lo and behold, this week, Vodafone is now lobbying the UK government to emphasize 5G and IOT as essential to reaching nationwide emission targets, particularly ambitious ones, such as zero emissions, by 2050. And it makes sense because according to the research with Vodafone and its partners is that, when it comes to three verticals, in particular; manufacturing, agriculture, and transport, that these reductions can be achieved at a 4% per annum level by using digital technologies with 5G and IOT. And in particular, transport, they’re indicating that it can have an impact of 9.3 million tons of carbon reduction, so that, obviously, leaps out and manufacturing is not far behind with over four million tons and finally agriculture with over three million tons.

So these are real impactful numbers. These are really difference makers. And so I think it’s very encouraging that we’re seeing an operator really taking the high road here saying, “Hey, we can be proactive about this.” We’re not just going to wait around for the government to say, “Oh, can you help us with this?” We’re like, “Here, we’re ready. We even have technology that we’ve already proven out and made some tremendous difference with our existing network and near-future network. And by the way, here are just the three examples, three key verticals, where it could make a big difference, especially in rural areas. And so, let’s figure out how to really make this work in terms of making nationwide goals, which is again, impacting all the societies.” So this is actually…

Shelly Kramer: Absolutely.

Ron Westfall: I think, a really cool development.

Shelly Kramer: It is a really cool development.

About the Authors

Ron is an experienced research expert and analyst, with over 20 years of experience in the digital and IT transformation markets. He is a recognized authority at tracking the evolution of and identifying the key disruptive trends within the service enablement ecosystem, including software and services, infrastructure, 5G/IoT, AI/analytics, security, cloud computing, revenue management, and regulatory issues. Read Full Bio.

Shelly Kramer is a Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research. A serial entrepreneur with a technology centric focus, she has worked alongside some of the world’s largest brands to embrace disruption and spur innovation, understand and address the realities of the connected customer, and help navigate the process of digital transformation. She brings 20 years' experience as a brand strategist to her work at Futurum, and has deep experience helping global companies with marketing challenges, GTM strategies, messaging development, and driving strategy and digital transformation for B2B brands across multiple verticals. Shelly's coverage areas include Collaboration/CX/SaaS, platforms, ESG, and Cybersecurity, as well as topics and trends related to the Future of Work, the transformation of the workplace and how people and technology are driving that transformation. A transplanted New Yorker, she has learned to love life in the Midwest, and has firsthand experience that some of the most innovative minds and most successful companies in the world also happen to live in “flyover country.”