The University of Melbourne is working with a global consortium called Green Touch to design new mobile phone networks that could be up to 1,000 times more energy efficient than current networks.

Every mobile phone tower consumes a large amount of energy – typically several kilowatts of electricity – most of which is wasted. This happens because the radio signal that comes from the tower spreads out in all direction although only a very tiny amount of the energy is actually received by the mobile phone, rablet or laptop.

The Green Touch Consortium is working on ways to redesign the wireless network to make it much more energy efficient. According to Melbourne University Professor Rod Tucker this is going to mean that a lot of the current big towers will be replaced by a larger number of very small antennas..

Professor Tuckers said that "It's really quite amazing what can be achieved and the results of our research is indicating that we can improve the energy efficiency of the mobile network by a factor of 1,000 if we take this route to more smaller antennas".