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ECONET 2010-2013

ECONET - low Energy COnsumption NETworks

ECONET (low Energy COnsumption NETworks) project is a 3-year IP project (running from October 2010 to September 2013) co-funded by the European Commission under the Framework Programme 7 (FP7), addressing the Strategic Objective ICT-2009.1.1 “The Network of the Future”.

The ECONET project aims at studying and exploiting dynamic adaptive technologies (based on standby and performance scaling capabilities) for wired network devices that allow saving energy when a device (or part of it) is not used.

The project will be devoted at re-thinking and re-designing wired network equipment and infrastructures towards more energy-sustainable and eco-friendly technologies and perspectives.

Enabling the reduction of energy requirements of wired network equipment by 50%

As the Future Internet is taking shape, it is therefore recognised that, among other basic concepts and key aspects, energy efficiency should pervade the network infrastructure as a whole to such extent as to become part of the network design criteria and to carry across multiple networking domains for the achievement of a general target. There are two main motivations that drive the quest for “green” networking: environmental one, related to the reduction of wastes and impact on CO2 emissions, and the economic one, stemming from the need of operators to reduce the cost of keeping the network up and running at the desired service level, while counterbalancing the ever-increasing cost of energy.

The overall idea is to introduce novel green network-specific paradigms and concepts enabling the reduction of energy requirements of wired network equipment by 50% in the short to mid-term (and by 80% in the long run).

To this end, the main challenge will be to design, develop and test novel technologies, integrated control criteria and mechanisms for network equipment enabling energy saving by adapting network capacities and resources to current traffic loads and user requirements, while ensuring end-to-end Quality of Service.

Therefore, this project aims at exploring a coordinated set of approaches and concepts to deliver novel solutions and technologies for reducing the carbon footprint of next generation infrastructures for telecommunication networks. Thanks to the presence of major manufacturing companies, telecoms and ISPs, ECONET will propose its innovative technologies to standardization bodies for extending in the green direction the next generation network and Future Internet architectures and protocols.


The ECONET project will introduce, explore and develop two main kind of network-specific energy-saving capabilities:

  • Dynamic Power Scaling: allows network devices tuning dynamically the trade-off between energy profile and processing capacity, while meeting the actual traffic load and QoS constraints;

  • Smart Standby: allows putting currently unused parts of a network devices into very low energy consumption modes, where only some basic functionalities are performed.