By Philippa Winkler,  Professor in International Relations

The price of electricity increased by 80% in October 2022. Even with government subsidies, a household with typical energy use will pay on average around £2,500 a year on their gas and electricity bill. Small businesses will be more likely to suffer from price hikes than large corporations.

In light of these increased costs, the telecoms’ 5G rollout is unimaginably reckless. 5G consumes up to four times the amount of electricity as 4G, most of which  is powered by fossil fuels. Its technology is energy-intensive due to the proliferation of elements including baseband units, remote radio heads, small cells and core networks.  

5G is designed to power data-heavy apps such as in industrial production, entertainment, gambling, transportation, surveillance and healthcare. 

The business case for 5G is based on the promise of higher profits.

Meanwhile the public is urged to save on energy costs with gizmos like microwavable slippers, so that they can turn down the boiler dial.  

 The Joseph Rowntree Foundation  chief analyst Peter Matejic says:’ struggling households remain extremely worried about how they are supposed to fill this [energy]  gap.’

Renewables are not helping. They are less costly but it is the gas companies that set excessive electricity prices. The energy requirements of 5G are so vast it will remain fossil-based because it cannot depend on wind and sunshine alone. 

One energy-reduction solution is very simple: halt the 5G rollout across the UK. Oppose new masts and the government’s plan to install 5G on street furniture such as lampposts and bus shelters. 

Urge the government to re-invest in our copper telephone landline network which is a reliable and safe alternative to power-grid dependent, energy-hungry communications systems like 5G. 

It’s possible the UK 5G roll out may slow down as it has in Europe due to energy and microchip shortages.

A senior Vodafone executive has said soaring energy bills are likely to add to Europe’s delays in rolling out next-generation 5G technology. 

Worldwide sales of mobile technologies have been lower than expected. Companies now have inventory they can’t move, or the wrong inventory mix. 

‘“In another turbulent year for the mobile phone market, supply constraints in low- to mid-tier segments, paired with weak demand in emerging markets, have dampened sales,’ says industry insider, Marina Koytcheva, vice president of forecasting at CCS Insight. 

In a feedback loop, the production drive for 5G, IoT and electric cars has caused a microchip shortage worldwide. This in turn is expected to contribute to a slow down in the implementation of 5G networks.

See the following links:

Global 5G roll-out could be hampered by chip shortage | E&T Magazine (

Vodafone: Energy Bills May Delay 5G Investments | Silicon UK

“Why would our policies blindly support the telecom industry’s agenda and ignore that 5G’s deployment increases energy and resource consumption”? Science and Technology author, Miguel Coma.