Employees at Orange, France’s biggest phone company and the tenth largest mobile network operator in the world, are calling for management to stop the rollout of 5G just days before the industry plans to commit billions to their deployment in the country. About 1,000 Orange employees, calling themselves “Je Suis Si Vert” (I’m So Green), circulated two memos. The most recent memo — Without 5G: Orange in The Future World — from May 2020, argues that 5G will be bad for the environment and unprofitable.
The massive antenna infrastructure required for 5G, the billion more wireless devices that will be interconnected and MIMO technology are predicted to exponentially increase wireless energy consumption, significantly contributing to the carbon footprint of wireless technology. Stopping 5G has also become a top agenda item for the French Green Party Europe Écologie Les Verts (EELV). During the local June elections, the party became stronger, with candidates winning in major cities including Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Bordeaux and Strasbourg.
Recently, one of the Green Party members, the Mayor of France’s “Silicon Valley,” where companies like Apple and Huawei have development centers, got major headlines with his calls to halt 5G because of environmental impacts, including e-waste. E-waste is the world’s fastest-growing domestic waste producer.