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Network operator power use grew 10% in 2021

This brief examines power consumption in the network operator industry, spanning telcos, webscalers, and carrier-neutral operators (CNNOs). This is based on a bottoms-up review of sustainability reports from 57 operators: 16 webscalers, 21 telcos and 20 CNNOs. The webscalers reviewed account for about 94% of that sector’s total 2021 revenues. For telco and carrier-neutral, the surveyed companies account for a bit over 60% of revenues in the respective sectors.

Based on this large sample, we estimate that in 2021 network operators consumed approximately 467.6 Terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity, including purchased and self-generated. Power consumption by network operators in 2021 grew by 9.8%, about the same as the 9.3% growth recorded in 2020. By operator type, webscale...

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Matt Walker
Chief Analyst
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