Sustainability Salon

Ensuring the Sustainability of Next Gen Communications

A group of people sitting around a table discussing the future of 5G and 6G

How can we optimise the use of 5G and design 6G to strengthen the push to Net Zero? Academics and industry representatives discussed the future of communications technology at our second Sustainability Salon on 26 October, facilitated by IAA Knowledge Exchange Associates David Hughes and Muhammad Ali Jamshed. Although of a smaller scale than the first salon, representatives from both AWTG and FarrPoint attended and brought insights and experience from the industry side.

There was lively discussion around the issues of privacy, accessibility and inclusion. The group drilled down into a specific project brought by Kristian Anastasiou, PhD student at the School of Physics & Astronomy. Sharing his perspective from the School of Computing Science and the software side of networks, Dimitrios Pezaros spoke about the possibilities that edge computing could bring to our networks. The group discussed the issues of power, consumption, control, reporting and monitoring, and the role the comms network has in supporting monitoring. Private 5G networks and the possibility of using the transport network as distributed nodes in the comms network also raised interesting questions.

Possible projects

As ever, we hope that these discussions grow into actions. Projects were identified and put forward that the group would like to see explored further:

  • Mechanical steering of cellular base station and agile electronic beamforming to improve coverage and reduce latency.
  • Utilising the unused computing power in network towers for edge computing.
  • Using the transport network to extend the comms network, including cars as nodes.
  • Possibly pushing for regulation-led access to edge computing power from those on networks.
  • Best communications practice to engage users and the public in new more sustainable behaviours and actions.

If you would like to engage with any of these projects, please get in touch with David via

About the Sustainability Salons

The Sustainability Salons bring the practical knowledge of industry together with the technical and theoretical expertise of academics, to inspire potential projects to help solve sustainability issues. We have EPSRC IAA funding available to support these projects. We provide refreshments and facilitators loosely guide the discussions.

How to join

If you would like to attend future Sustainability Salons, please register your interest. We look forward to welcoming you to our future salons.

Register your interest