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Tuesday, 03 March 2009 12:50

CSIRO and China collaborate to make wireless broadband greener

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In what is being termed as Australia’s biggest collaboration with China on wireless communications research, the CSIRO and Chinese researchers have launched a program to develop more environmentally friendly wireless broadband base stations.

At the launch today in Sydney of the Australia-China Research Centre for Wireless Communications, the Centre’s Director, CSIRO’s Dr Jay Guo, said the need to develop ‘green’ wireless base stations is becoming more pressing as wireless networks become ubiquitous.

“It means that more and more base stations are required to deliver broadband services everywhere,” said Dr Guo, who is also Research Director of CSIRO’s ICT Centre Wireless Technologies Laboratory.

Apparently broadband wireless is not exactly the greenest technology on the planet.

“Typically, base stations consume 80 per cent of the power used by wireless networks, with one 3G network using up some 5-10 million kilowatt hours of power each year," said Dr Guo.

“The Australia-China Research Centre will be working on technologies which can drastically reduce the number of base stations, thereby reducing their carbon footprint.”

The Centre, which is a collaboration led by CSIRO and the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT), was launched by the Chinese Vice-Minister for Science and Technology, Dr Cao Jianlin, and the Federal  Member for Bennelong, the Hon Maxine McKew MP,  representing Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

“This new centre will encourage habits of collaboration that we expect to spread beyond wireless communications to other fields of inquiry,” Ms McKew said.

“Our aim must be to translate the outcomes of scientific research into applications for world markets of the future,” she said.

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Megan Clark said closer ties with China in this area will help CSIRO maintain its leadership in wireless communications technologies.

“This research area is a priority for both CSIRO and the Chinese government, which recently announced a major investment plan for science and technology and identified broadband wireless as an important area for development,” Dr Clark said.

She said the Centre will facilitate joint research projects between the two countries, the exchange of scientists and students and the uptake of Australian wireless communications technologies by the world market.

Research priorities for the Centre include: advanced antennas, signal processing algorithms and network protocols for next-generation broadband wireless communications networks.

The Centre has already attracted seven Australian and Chinese universities as partners and discussions with industrial partners and more universities are on-going.

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Stan Beer

Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 35 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.

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