Researchers provide framework to evaluate and drive down the energy consumption of mobile networks by 70%

July 31, 2012

After two and a half years, the EARTH research project, partially funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Program (FP7), has reached a successful conclusion.

EARTH (Energy Aware Radio and neTwork tecHnologies) was a highly ambitious and unique FP7 IP project, investigating the energy efficiency of mobile communication systems. A consortium of 15 leading providers, component and infrastructure vendors and academic institutions had as their common goal to achieve a 50% reduction in the of 4th Generation (4G) mobile wireless communications networks enabling at the same time a strong and steady growth in mobile .

The award-winning consortium EARTH achieved several accomplishments during its short existence. The solutions developed include everything from more efficient components in radio base stations to solutions on the radio network level. The EARTH project found ways to incorporate its solutions efficiently into integrated solutions. The final evaluation of the EARTH integrated solutions demonstrated that they would allow operators to save up to 70% of energy consumed in their networks. This significantly exceeded the original target of 50%. Key components of the EARTH solutions have been implemented, validated and experimentally analysed, in some cases in an operator’s testbed, under realistic operating conditions, which proved theoretical savings as well as practical ones.

EARTH showed that with these savings it is possible to expand mobile networks to satisfy traffic demands that are doubling every year, without increasing their CO2 footprint. This will be effective until disruptive future solutions also identified by EARTH are matured. Thus EARTH results are pivotal for more energy efficient growth of mobile broadband, which is needed to meet the broader sustainability goals of bridging the digital divide and creating low carbon economies of the future.

Tod Sizer, head of wireless research at Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs notes: “We have taken Green to the heart of our research programs. Our commitment to initiatives such as EARTH is a prominent example of how Alcatel-Lucent is driving sustainable innovation. We know it cannot be done alone and we need models of action like EARTH.”

Jan Färjh, Vice President and Head of Ericsson Research, said: “We were glad to have a leading role in the EARTH project, and to contribute to creating a broader understanding of trends in network energy consumption over the next ten years. It will be crucial for telecom companies to work even more actively with implementing the best practice concepts developed in the project into reality.”

The EARTH project succeeded as a flagship initiative in the area of energy efficient wireless access and is being widely referenced. The EARTH Energy Efficiency Evaluation Framework (E3F) to measure energy efficiency of wireless access networks laid foundations for objective and fair rating of wireless network . The importance of this contribution has been confirmed by major operators to be what has been long desired and now manifests in current standardisation activities in ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute). Thus EARTH set an important global foundation for continued development of efficient wireless access networks.

The members of the EARTH consortium are: Alcatel-Lucent (Project Coordinator), Ericsson (Technical Manager), NXP Semiconductors France, DOCOMO Communications Laboratories Europe GmbH, Telecom Italia S.p.A., CEA, University of Surrey, Technische Universität Dresden, imec, IST- Technical University of Lisbon, University of Oulu, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, TTI and ETSI.

In May, 2012, the EARTH project won the prestigious 4th Future Internet Award, for its enabling contributions to sustainable and environment friendly growth of mobile broadband infrastructure, bridging the digital divide and supporting smart growth. EARTH accepted the prize in the closing plenary of the Future Internet Assembly of 2012 held in Aalborg.

The detailed documentation of ’s technical results is available on the project web page.

Explore further: Briefs: Ericsson integrates Marconi's broadband

More information: Project Website:

Related Stories

T-Mobile picks Ericsson, Nokia Siemens for network

May 8, 2012

(AP) -- T-Mobile USA on Tuesday said that Nokia Siemens Networks and LM Ericsson AB will supply the network equipment for its new wireless broadband network, a project worth $4 billion.

LightRadio breakthroughs

February 8, 2011

The world of mobile communications moves fast. With new mobile devices, new applications and ever-growing and changing consumer demands the wireless networks in use today have to evolve. Rather than take an incremental approach ...

Recommended for you

US faces moment of truth on 'net neutrality'

December 14, 2017

The acrimonious battle over "net neutrality" in America comes to a head Thursday with a US agency set to vote to roll back rules enacted two years earlier aimed at preventing a "two-speed" internet.

The wet road to fast and stable batteries

December 14, 2017

An international team of scientists—including several researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory—has discovered an anode battery material with superfast charging and stable operation ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.