Sustainability is about acting consciously

Sustainability and corporate responsibility have always been part of our corporate culture and are not a «new normal». We look beyond carbon footprints and technologies. It’s about values and conscious action.

First the values …

Technology topics such as digitalization and 5G dominate many debates today. They are often mentioned in connection with ecological issues. Many things are quickly placed under the same umbrella and the conclusion is that new technologies are going to have to save the climate. A flippant conclusion. Technology can be a tool, but not a cure-all or an end in itself.

What is important is how that tool is used. We’re talking about sensible, responsible use and a carefully considered, forward-looking consideration of the consequences of actions for

  • People and the community
  • Places to live and mobility
  • Communication and work
  • Education and expertise
  • Earth and resources
  • Safety and stability

It is in this holistic sense that we at R&M understand «Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility» (CSER). You can read all about this in our CSER Report, which I would recommend to our customers and partners.

The focus is on acting responsibly and striking a balance between economic, ecological, and social perspectives. Since its foundation, R&M’s conduct has been based on the values and principles of sustainable business.

Back then, when the company was founded, the focus was naturally on technology, but also on sustainability. Hans Reichle and Renato De-Massari wanted to sustainably modernize the connectivity technology in telecommunications and make it safer. Our history thus illustrates the whole conflict surrounding sustainability.

… then the technology

With this in mind, we are committed to developing technologies and business models that make sense and drive our world forward. First and foremost, fiber optic technology. It plays a central role in our cabling systems for buildings, data centers, and public networks. Some sustainability arguments in favor of fiber optics:

  • Resources: The raw materials can be extracted or recycled at a reasonable cost. Optical fibers are made of silicate, which is available in virtually unlimited quantities.
  • Transport: Optical fibers are light and thin. With little effort, we can transport large quantities of them.
  • Work: In emerging countries such as Brazil, Bulgaria, and India, R&M has created hundreds of new jobs in the precision manufacturing of fiber optic products.
  • Efficiency: Fiber optic cables offer almost unimaginable performance headroom for data transmission and thus for the era of digitalization. In data transmission, 1 kg glass is as powerful as 1000 kg copper. FO networks are more fail-safe than copper networks and require less maintenance.

Very important, but not the only aspect: the carbon footprint of fiber optics. It’s unbeatable.

Fiber to the Home (FTTH) results in half as many CO2 emissions per hour of video streaming as data transmission over the fastest copper network. This was recently revealed by a German investigation into data transmission from the data center to the subscriber *). The reason is that optical signal transmission requires fewer energy-hungry amplifiers and active devices than electrical signal transmission.

FTTH as an example

The technological topic of FTTH in particular calls for a more conscious and expanded view. FTTH brings directly tangible and long-term benefits to working at home – it is common knowledge that millions of people are now mainly working from home due to the pandemic-induced transformation. A fiber optic line leading to their office at home can relieve them of annoying and costly latencies in data and video communication. Homeworkers and their companies can manufacture digitally and remotely more efficiently and successfully with FTTH. The fact that people working at home drive less is just a side effect.

This is why R&M deliberately aims to consider fiber optic broadband coverage comprehensively from the hub to the home workplace. We are talking about full fiber networks, from the continuous fiber optic line to the subscriber. It is not a modern «must-have», but a basic need for work, living and family, and is therefore of permanent significance for the digital era.

With this in mind, R&M designs cabling solutions for fiber optic networks.

A prominent example is the turnkey PoP station developed by R&M Germany. It is not only an efficient idea for saving construction companies time and money. Network operators have a sophisticated and reliable solution that will be useful for decades to come. They can add further distribution modules later or adapt the cabling without interrupting operations. «Pay as you grow» is the name of the sustainable business model.

R&M also operates in the interests of sustainability in other areas. The new «Measurement Data on Demand» service digitizes the network documentation process. Installers and project managers no longer have to print out measurement data. In this way, R&M helps partners to save a lot of paper and to implement their projects more efficiently.

FTTA as an example

The 5G trend technology also offers potential for holistic, conscious action. The telecom industry is investing heavily in the rollout. The setup of wireless infrastructure and the power of 5G is impressive. 5G is a key technology for large-scale digitalization. According to the aforementioned study, it will leave a carbon footprint that is two and a half times smaller than today’s widespread 4G/LTE technology.

Here, too, it is worth taking a look beyond the technology or carbon footprint.

There are, for example, infrastructure issues in the background, which play an important role in towns and cities. Countless FO cables have to be laid to the 5G antennas. Fiber to the Antenna (FTTA) is becoming a mega construction program. There are many inconvenient construction sites for cities and residents. This could even mean a loss of quality of life, particularly in residential areas. In addition, there are critical questions about antenna sites and the effects high-frequency technology could have on people’s health.

If every network operator pursued its own 5G and FTTA deployment plans, it could become expensive. It is well worth consciously looking for alternative and more favorable expansion paths. It is more sustainable to be flexible, circumspect, forward-looking, and collaborative. Investors would appreciate an optimized Total Cost of Ownership.

Existing network architectures, fiber capacity, and facilities, as well as public carrier infrastructures, could be shared. Groundwork, installations, operation, and maintenance would only have to be paid for once. Fiber-to-the-Antenna and Fiber-to-the-Home projects can complement each other in a sensible way.

R&M is happy to support telecommunications companies in the realization of such ideas with planning expertise and modular FTTA system solutions.

Furthermore, opportunities for new, local services in the 5G and edge computing sector also arise. Here, sustainability means consciously promoting these economic aspects. The «major» 5G technology can be used as a driving force for many small, valuable start-ups and promising business models.

All business models confirm that sustainability requires comprehensive understanding.


 Fujairah FZ Fujairah 4442 ,Dubai

     United Arab Emirates

[email protected]


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