A group of 15 leading telecommunications service providers, component and infrastructure vendors, and academic institutions have launched Energy Aware Radio and Network Technologies (EARTH), a consortium whose goal is to achieve a 50 percent reduction in the energy consumption of 4G mobile wireless communication networks within the next two-and-a-half years.

The consortium comprises: Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, NXP Semiconductors France, DOCOMO Communications Laboratories Europe GmbH, Telecom Italia S.p.A., CEA, University of Surrey, Technische Universit‰t Dresden, imec, IST - Technical University of Lisbon, University of Oulu, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, TTI and ETSI.

EARTH will adopt an approach that considers the energy efficiency of mobile networks at a comprehensive system level rather than focusing on discrete network elements. The consortium members will research approaches to allow for unprecedented energy savings in the area of wireless networks, their components and its radio interfaces. Based on this, EARTH will develop a new generation of energy-efficient network equipment and components, craft energy-oriented deployment strategies, and conceive energy-aware network management solutions.

The EARTH initiative supports the European Union's Work Programme for Information and Communication Technologies under the objective "Network of the Future". The project is funded within the European Union's Seventh Framework Program (FP7).

Rainer Fechner, head of Bell Labs in Germany and member of the management board, Alcatel-Lucent in Germany, said, "What makes EARTH so compelling is that it has the potential to deliver tangible benefits to society on a number of levels: reducing energy consumption of networks and their impact on the environment while making broadband wireless service available to a greater number of people in Europe. The value of our contribution derives from deep experience and innovations in both green technology and advanced wireless systems."