The European Union has claimed it is on the cusp of delivering technologies which can minimise the carbon footprint of next-generation mobile services, by reducing the power needed to operate mobile base stations.
The EU has poured €10m into the so-called Project Earth, which includes researchers from Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, and from universities in France, Finland, Germany and the UK.
According to European Commission vice president Neelie Kroes, products based on Project Earth, which will lower the energy use of 4G base stations, should be available from 2014.
“The ICT sector is growing but its carbon footprint should not follow. I congratulate the partners of the EARTH project who have found ways to deliver the services we need while reducing CO2 emissions and cutting down on energy bills," said Kroes.
According to the EU, the IT sector currently accounts for around two per cent of global carbon emissions. But as users increasingly embrace data-heavy services such as mobile video, that is set to rise, especially as 4G mobile base stations are expected to consume more power.
Nevertheless, despite the EC's desire to trumpet the success of Project Earth, it has remained cautious about detailing how far its investment has succeeded in lowering 4G energy use.
The latest update was noticeably short on detailing the extent to which the researchers had cut energy use. Initially, Project Earth had a target of reducing 4G base station power consumption by 50 per cent.
The Earth Project itself only runs until June.
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