* There is a serious and ongoing discussion in the CPE ecosystem on how key players can work together to make the ecosystem — including product development, design, supply chain, and transportation — more sustainable.
* Three areas are emerging where changes can be made to make CPE more sustainable.
* Consumer demand for sustainable products will only increase, creating opportunities for NSPs to differentiate themselves and generate awareness of their sustainability initiatives.
AMSTERDAM - Oct. 19, 2022 - PRLog -- Cable and telecom service providers are investing significantly in reducing their carbon footprint. It represents a direct response to rising consumer awareness of climate change challenges, the emergence of stringent regulations and the mainstreaming of environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives across all sectors of the economy. According to Koen De Wulf, director of sustainability for VANTIVA, many leaders in the industry have concluded that the design, manufacture, distribution and management of customer premises equipment (CPE) offers an ideal opportunity to move the needle on this important priority.
"There is a serious and ongoing discussion in the CPE ecosystem around how key players can work together to make the entire ecosystem — including product development, design, supply chain, and transportation — more sustainable. It is creating an opportunity for network service providers (NSPs) who offer connected home CPEs to their customers to rethink their strategies for reducing their global footprint," says De Wulf.
There are three major areas where changes can be made to make CPE offerings more sustainable.
- Hardware. Operators are exploring, designing and investing in low-power CPEs made from recycled and environmentally sensitive material. They are also putting pressure on the value chain to improve and streamline manufacturing processes that produce less waste and consume fewer resources before, during and after CPE deployment.
- Software. There has been a lot of progress in reducing the form factors and energy requirements of connected home devices that are more intelligent and situationally aware. As a result, they can shut down — or go into sleep mode — when the unit is not in frequent use during different times of the day.
- Packaging. Operators are switching to using only reusable materials for packaging and are eliminating elements that do not directly contribute value to the user experience.
While these may not seem like earth-shaking changes, when you multiply each of these key areas by millions of devices worldwide, it significantly impacts our climate and sustainability.
The current generation of CPEs — gateways or set-top boxes — are very different today than just five years ago. They're more intelligent and more capable. These devices can perform multiple functions that, in the past, would have required multiple devices.
These multi-feature CPEs are not only more convenient for the end user, but they also introduce significant wins in the battle to improve sustainability.
"When you combine multiple devices into one powerful CPE, you are effectively reducing the number of resources needed for packaging and transporting these devices into homes all around the world," explains De Wulf.
"That said, this approach presents a challenge on the other end of the spectrum. When you start packaging and integrating many functionalities onto a single platform, the device becomes far more complex. This can result in elevating thermal heat generation and power consumption."
Sustainability is a Strategic Priority for NSPs
Sustainability is resonating with operators, especially those with large-scale reach and millions of devices in connected homes around the world. These operators are making major commitments to improve their sustainability profile. They are also finding that doing good for the planet is good for business. In many cases, sustainability initiatives lead to practices that decrease the costs associated with packaging and transportation.
Among cable providers, for instance, companies like Comcast, Cox, and Charter, have made carbon reduction commitments to be carbon neutral on or before 2035 during the NCTA show in April of 2022. Similar initiatives are taking place among global telcos, where most NSPs in this category are setting up dedicated management roles to drive sustainability initiatives.
As a result, companies are investing in hybrid and electric vehicles for their fleets and implementing programs to recycle the cable and related materials used to deploy broadband networks.
A growing number of consumers consider sustainability as they select the companies with which they want to do business. This has prompted NSPs to not only take action but also take a stand. They have become global champions and cheerleaders for global sustainability journeys.
We believe consumer demand for sustainable products will increase over time. This opens opportunities for NSPs to generate awareness around their sustainability initiatives. It is emerging as a key differentiating factor.
"There are significant up-front costs associated with creating and implementing sustainability practices. In this sense, NSPs have to commit to spending money before they can save resources. Over the long run, however, it is the right thing to do."
To read a Q&A with VANTIVA's Koen De Wulf, please visit:
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