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Can Focus on Climate Change Help Nokia’s 5G Ambitions?

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Jan. 2 2019, Updated 5:01 p.m. ET

Heat emissions used to keep buildings warm

Nokia (NOK) announced last month that it had developed and deployed a liquid-cooled base station system in Helsinki, Finland. It said that was an achievement that promises lower costs for operators and reduced carbon dioxide emissions. The system was developed and tested in partnership with Finnish power supplier Efore and Finnish mobile operator Elisa.

The liquid-cooled base station system was deployed in an apartment building in Helsinki, where heat emitted from the base station was redirected to heat the building, lowering energy costs in the process.

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80% carbon dioxide reduction

According to Nokia, the liquid-cooled base station can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 80% and cut energy operating expenses by up to 30%, delivering significant cost savings for operators. The company further notes that the liquid-cooled base station can help reduce the environmental impact of information communications technology as the world transitions to 5G connectivity.

Appealing to environmentally conscious operators

Nokia has not disclosed its commercialization plans for the liquid-cooled base station system, but this looks like a technology that could appeal to operators that support action around climate change. Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T), and Vodafone (VOD) are some of the leading operators that support actions to help curb global warming. Vodafone, for instance, is working to cut its carbon footprint by 50% by 2020. Verizon and AT&T also regularly provide updates on the efforts they are making to reduce their carbon footprints. T-Mobile (TMUS) is another environmentally conscious operator with plans to power its operations with 100% renewable energy in the next few years.

Nokia spent about $1.3 billion in research and development in the third quarter.

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