Normally we might not cover the formation of a new consortium with ridiculously lofty goals like this, but check it: Bell Labs has managed to corral a who's-who of carriers, universities, government agencies, and industry labs with the goal of making communications networks more energy efficient than they are today. What makes the goal so lofty, though, is the fact that Bell wants to improve efficiency by a whopping 1,000 times -- a number it says should be possible based on research it has done suggesting a 10,000-fold improvement is theoretically possible. Heavy-hitting members include China Mobile (the world's largest carrier), AT&T, Swisscom, Telefonica, MIT, Stanford, Freescale, and the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, so we're feeling good about the plausibility of Green Touch's first proposed milestone: a reference architecture and sample components within five years capable of meeting the 1,000-fold improvement mark. The group's first meeting is next month -- just be sure to drive your plug-in hybrids to the gathering, guys.

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Bell Labs spearheads Green Touch initiative to improve network energy efficiency