The EARTH energy-efficiency project, in which Ericsson has a leading role, has won the Future Internet Award (FIA), granted by the Coordination of the European Future Internet Forum of Member States (ceFIMS), which is funded by the European Commission. The announcement was made on May 11 during the closing plenary of the Future Internet Week in Aalborg, Denmark.

The awards are an opportunity for organizers of European national and regional Future Internet initiatives to promote their work. The FIA is granted every six months to the initiative with the greatest potential to advance the Future Internet, and that represents an outstanding example of innovative products and services. It consists of a certificate and an engraved crystal vase, and this is the fourth time it has been granted.

The overall goal of the EARTH research project is to increase the energy efficiency of mobile communication networks, with a focus on LTE radio access. The project, which is jointly led by Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent, involves participants from 10 countries, and is a collective effort by 15 partners, including telecom vendors, network operators, component manufacturers, research institutes and universities. It began in 2010 and is due to close later in June this year.

EARTH was chosen from 36 proposals. The selection criteria included innovative use of technologies, societal impact, and potential for commercial exploitation.

Several leading positions in the EARTH project are held by Ericsson employees. One of them is Magnus Olsson, Senior Researcher at Ericsson Research and the project’s Technical Manager.

"It’s a great honor to receive this prestigious award, especially since the competition was so tough," he says. "EARTH wouldn’t have been so successful without the hard work and dedication of those in the project team, including my colleagues from Ericsson."

Improving the energy efficiency of networks is becoming increasingly important as network traffic grows and energy costs increase, Olsson says. Energy efficiency is essential to reduce the cost of operating networks, but also to make them more environmentally sustainable.

"So we are very glad to be recognized in this way. This award demonstrates that the work of Ericsson and others involved in the EARTH project is appreciated. It’s an acknowledgement of the fact that we are active in this important area and that we’re well positioned to develop and deliver energy-efficient products and solutions."