GSMA launches Green Manifesto


Industry body the GSM Association has launched a ‘Green Manifesto’ for the mobile industry at the Mobile Asia Congress, running in Hong Kong this week.

The Green Manifesto sets out how the mobile industry plans to lower its greenhouse gas emissions per connection, and demonstrates the role that mobile communications can play in lowering emissions in other sectors and industries.

It also makes specific policy recommendations for governments and delegates attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen from December 7 to 18.

The Green Manifesto sets out goals such as reducing total global greenhouse gas emissions per connection by 40 per cent compared to today by 2020. The GSMA said this forecast covers all emissions from energy sources under the control of the mobile operators, including energy consumption from the radio network, buildings, and energy consumption and emissions from transport.

The document also discusses aims for carbon neutral growth.  The GSMA said the number of mobile connections is set to rise by 70 per cent to eight billion by 2020 as next generation mobile broadband networks are developed, but despite this growth, the mobile industry forecasts that its total emissions will remain constant at 245 mega-tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The manifesto also outlines collaboration with handset vendors to ensure that the energy consumed by a typical handset is reduced by 40 per cent by 2020; and collaboration with equipment vendors to ensure that the life cycle emissions of network equipment components are also reduced by 40 per cent by 2020.

Also within the Green Manifesto, the mobile industry calls upon governments to sign a successor to the Kyoto Protocol and to establish binding global long-term targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

GSMA chief executive Rob Conway said: “With the right public policies in place, the mobile industry can make a major contribution in the fight against global warming, lowering emissions in other sectors by more than 4.5 times mobile’s own footprint, which is the equivalent of taking one in every three cars off the road.

“The mobile industry could enable greenhouse gas emission reductions of 1,150 Mt CO2e in 2020 – twice the present emissions of the United Kingdom. We will be calling upon governments at COP15 to ensure that mobile solutions are at the forefront of the global fight to prevent climate change and mitigate its consequences.

“The mobile industry globally is taking great strides towards improving its own energy efficiency and enabling other industries to do the same. As the findings from our Asian Observatory research show, over the next five years an additional one billion connections are expected to be added as the Asia Pacific market is projected to exceed three billion connections in 2013. It therefore seems pertinent to launch the Green Manifesto in the Asia Pacific region, world’s largest mobile market – which has the potential to make such a huge and positive impact in terms of the green goal that we are striving to achieve.”

Meanwhile, the GSMA has also completed the first phase of its ‘Smart SIM’ initiative and has published three whitepapers relating to the technology.

The initiative aims to drive the development and adoption of the Smart SIM, which aims to provide simplified, transferable and consistent access to services, data, applications and settings, irrespective of device type.

The first phase of the project worked to ensure that consistent interoperability between mobile handsets and SIMs can be achieved, aligning device requirements and analysing the various SIM business models and sharing them with industry partners.

The GSMA’s Smart SIM initiative aims to provide operators, handset manufacturers, software developers and chipset vendors with a common approach to application and service development.

The focus for phase two is to carry out global trials of Smart SIM services in 2010.

GSMA chief technology officer Alex Sinclair said: “Use of Smart SIM technology will mean that operators will be able to deliver a variety of capabilities without having to manage extensive and complex commercial relationships or a mix of handset, operating system and chipset technologies.

“With the backing of some of the world’s largest operators, OEMs and software developers, the mobile industry will address customer demand for the simplicity and transferability of user device settings, applications and data, from handset to handset.”

Orange director of device developments and projects Frederic Dufal added: “Orange supports the standardisation of SIM enabled services and welcomes the launch of the white papers.

“This first phase addresses some of the key questions around use cases and implementation. However, in order for customers to really benefit from the true potential of interoperable SIM enabled services such as improved personal data storage and content distribution, we need a stronger commitment from all players in the mobile ecosystem.”

Telefonica innovation director Vivek Dev also said: “Smart SIM is an exciting opportunity to enable customers to benefit from services with a consistent experience and which are portable across different devices.

“The suite of technologies defined by the project will enable a new generation of compelling mobile services that move with the Smart SIM between devices, ensuring a seamless, secure and consistent customer experience.”