Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

When research on wireless connections meets the Digital Agenda

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--- Posted by Luis Rodríguez-Roselló, DG INFSO, Head of Unit for Future Networks, and Silvia Alexe, Future Networks unit's communications officer

One of our EU-funded research projects has delivered outstanding results. The EUWB (Coexisting Short Range Radio by Advanced Ultra-Wideband Radio Technology) project has developed greener, faster and safer technology for wireless home entertainment and transport Internet connections. This falls in line with the key objectives of the Digital Agenda for Europe, aiming at providing every European household with a 30Mbps download rate by 2013 and 50% of Europe's homes with connections of at least 100 Mbps by 2020. EUWB has advanced the existing ultra-wide band radio technology (UWB-RT) for the benefit of consumers. The advantage of UWB technology lies in its high bandwidth use, not interfering with other radio frequencies and limiting emissions to a record low, due to extremely short pulses.

Thanks to the EUWB technology, home entertainment (e.g. music equipment) and portable gadgets such as smart phones, laptops or PDAs can now be connected to the living room television and transfer data up to 10 times faster than the WiFi. Moreover, with EUWB a cost and energy-efficient connectivity for a flawless home theatre is now possible and another great advantage for users.

EUWB has also contributed to safer travelling by developing wireless sensors that detect and signal movement inside a vehicle, in case children or pets happen to be left behind. On board an airplane, the same wireless sensors are used to switch on cabin lights and detect smoke.

Looking at the bigger picture around EUWB, having "every European digital" is not the only target in sight. Well into its standardization phase, this project also underlines how crucial a common European interoperability policy has become. Researchers and project coordinators alike need help in bridging the gap between development and standardization; this is where the DAE comes in once again, with its proposed legislation on interoperability. EUWB still has a good three months to go, and we look forward to its final success – that is, a completely standardized technology.