A new study by Pike Research
forecasts rapid growth in demand for green networking hardware over the next four years as telecom firms look to cut costs and emissions through improved energy efficiency in their operations.
In addition to cost savings, a convergence of factors will drive the shift toward green network infrastructure, including a need to meet corporate CSR goals and overcome the relative lack of reliable access to electricity in the developing countries that offer the biggest growth opportunities for telecoms.
The result will be a steady growth in demand for both energy efficient gear as well as innovative products that use renewable sources of energy to draw power. By 2013, Pike's researchers forecast that green products will make up 46 percent of the $277 billion global telecommunications infrastructure market.
"Improved energy efficiency is the first step in creating greener telecom networks," Pike Research managing director Clint Wheelock said. "Reduced power requirements will facilitate the integration of renewable energy sources such as solar photovoltaics, wind energy, and fuel cells, while also opening the door for more efficient network architectures and topologies."
Last June, the telecom industry unveiled a green compliance website
, EIATRACK, to help keep members of the Telecommunications Industry Association up to speed on global environmental legislation and requirements. And last fall, a coalition of telecom and tech firms launched an energy consumption rating initiative
to measure the efficiency of network products.