It was bound to happen. As the mobile telecoms industry continues to produce financial results that defy the main economic trends the knockers are coming out of the woodwork to have a go.
The International Energy Agency reported this week that demand for ‘energy-thirsty’ gadgets such as mobile phones, iPods, PCs and plasma TVs is undoing efficiency gains elsewhere. Feeling guilty when you think how often you use these devices?
Energy consumption of these devices, tipped to triple by 2030, is associated with carbon emissions because most electricity is produced from burning carbon fuels. The report goes on to point out that over half the world’s population subscribe to a mobile telephone service and that device development in the future should concentrate on energy optimisation but falls short of suggestion people talk less.
The US state of Massachusetts has banned drivers of trains, street cars and buses from using or even carrying mobile phones at work.
Any driver working for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority caught talking or text-messaging on a cell phone or similar device will be suspended for a month and managers will recommend their dismissal, the state said.
Although the measures were introduced after recent accidents involving drivers purportedly using their phones whilst driving it sets a precedence that could be taken up by other industries.
One would hope that technology will also improve over the next twenty years. Improvements in battery performance and device energy management will surely offset the findings in the first report.
Dozens of reports exist purporting that mobile devices are disruptive in the workplace and can dramatically reduce productivity. With smartphones now capable of handling voice, instant messaging, internet and access to social networking sites it’s no wonder that concerns have been raised.
It could be the portend of a trend do restrict the use of mobile phones in other places as well, and that will not be good news for the telecommunications industry. TP
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