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Friday, 30 April 2010 09:34

Bell Labs, Melbourne Uni &Vic Gov't form 'green telecom' R&D team


Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs, the University of Melbourne and the Victorian State Government are to set up a joint research centre to focus on energy efficient technology for the communications industry.

The centre will "draw on Bell Labs' decades of achieving breakthrough innovations and its extensive experience in managing collaborative research projects as well as on the University of Melbourne's world-class research in telecommunications network infrastructure."

Consortium to cut mobile network energy use

Separately, Alcatel-Lucent has joined 14 other telecommunications service providers, component and infrastructure vendors and academic institutions in a consortium 'EARTH' (Energy Aware Radio and neTwork tecHnologies), 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 (see page 2)

The Victorian facility, the Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET), will be based at the University of Melbourne. It will have a staff of researchers and technology experts that will build to 22 during the next three years.

Bell Labs and the University of Melbourne will share governance of the centre, which will conduct research into how a broad range of telecommunications network infrastructure elements can be made more energy efficient.

Both the University and Bell Labs are members of the GreenTouch initiative, a global, industry-wide consortium formed to achieve a dramatic improvement in energy efficiency by driving a radical redesign of communications networks. Technologies developed at the centre will be used to further the GreenTouch initiative and its objectives.


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Victorian treasurer, John Lenders, said "[The centre] will enable the Victorian State to position itself as a place for information and communications technology research and a centre for green communications research, development and training."

For the worldwide EARTH Consortium Alcatel-Lucent is the project coordinator and Ericsson the technical manager. Other members are: NXP Semiconductors; DoCoMo Communications Laboratories Europe, Telecom Italia, CEA, The University of Surrey, Technische Universität Dresden, imec, IST- Technical University of Lisbon, University of Oulu, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, TTI, 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 say they will research approaches to allow for unprecedented energy savings in the area of wireless networks, their components, and 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 consortium says its initiatives "have the potential to foster the universal availability of broadband infrastructure in Europe, and globally, by yielding a level of cost savings for mobile operators significant enough to reduce the economical barriers that impede the larger-scale deployment of broadband services into rural areas of existing markets as well as emerging markets."

The EARTH initiative supports the European Union's work programme for information and communication technologies under the objective 'Network of the Future'. It is funded within the European Union's Seventh Framework Program (FP7) that seeks to play a crucial role in achieving goals of growth, competitiveness and employment by bundling all research-related EU initiatives together under a common roof.


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