Saudi Arabia rolls out world’s first zero-carbon 5G network

Saudi developer Red Sea Global and mobile telecom operator Zain KSA unveil net-zero 5G network.
Sejal Sharma
The dune-like antennas
The dune-like antennas

Red Sea Global  

It’s quite possible that you may be reading this article on your phone using a 4G or a 5G network. But have you ever thought of the repercussions these networks have on the environment?

There’s a lot of electricity needed to set up broadband services for 4G/5G networks. And the electricity thus used releases carbon and greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. The higher the network capacity, the higher the emissions.

Unfortunately, it’s not only the carbon emissions that are being released into our environment; there are other pollutants like sulfur dioxides, nitrogen oxides, etc.

This isn’t sustainable, and given how we're in the middle of a global shift towards renewable sources of energy, broadband companies are acting towards lowering their CO2 footprint. 

And now, in a promising shift towards that goal, Saudi Arabia-based real-estate developer Red Sea Global has collaborated with mobile telecom operator Zain KSA to launch the first zero-carbon 5G network in the world.

Zero-carbon 5G network

The zero-carbon 5G network will be launched at the Six Senses Southern Dunes resort at The Red Sea, announced the company in a press release. It promises high 5G connectivity speed powered by 100% renewable energy from over 760,000 solar panels to power the entire 10,810-square-mile (28,000-kilometer) destination.

It is one of the plans launched by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“We aspire to be global pioneers of regenerative tourism development, adopting 100% renewable energy at our flagship destination, The Red Sea, and working towards the achievement of a 30% net conservation benefit by 2040,” said John Pagano, Group CEO at Red Sea Global. 

“These ambitious goals demand ambitious partners, and our collaboration with Zain KSA transcends telecommunications, extending into sustainability and environmental protection,” he added.

The network towers have been designed using 3D printing technology and have been built to blend with The Red Sea’s vibrant landscape. The exterior of the towers looks rocky, not giving away antennas and seamlessly blending with its surroundings.

“Within this approach, we are committed to localizing innovation and promoting the use of locally sourced content and have successfully constructed the 5G towers for this project within Saudi Arabia,” said Eng. Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al-Deghaither, CEO of Zain KSA. 

Reducing carbon footprint

The project will achieve three primary goals: preserving the environment, reducing emissions by utilizing renewable energy, and mitigating visual distortion.

"As a leading provider of telecommunications and digital services, we are immensely proud of this achievement that will certainly pave our way to become a pioneering sustainable technology provider,” added Al-Deghaither.

“By collaborating with “Red Sea Global”, one of the world’s most visionary developers to sustainable development, we reaffirm our commitment to a shared vision that balances achieving human prosperity with the preservation of nature and its sustainability for future generations, as outlined by Saudi Vision 2030,” he added.

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