Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Research & standards

Overall EU investments from 2007 to 2013 amount to more than €600m in research on future networks, half of which is allocated to wireless technologies contributing to development of 4G and beyond 4G.
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We have already launched more than 10 EU projects to begin exploring the technological options available to lead to the future generation of wired (optical) and wireless communications. Over €50m for research on 5G technologies have been granted in research, deployable by 2020.

METIS, 5GNOW, iJOIN, TROPIC, Mobile Cloud Networking, COMBO, CROWD, MOTO and PHYLAWS are only some of these new EU research projects that address the architecture and functionality needs for 5G / beyond 4G networks. The cluster of EU projects in the Radio Access and Spectrum (RAS) area for example, is looking more deeply into the 5G radio network architechture issues and the first results of their analysis are already available.

Past EU research investments have powered many of the mobile advances we take for granted today. These include the GSM standard (used today by 80% of the world's mobile networks), technologies used in the current third-generation (3G) 'Universal Mobile Telecom System' (UMTS) standards and the fourth-generation (4G) 'Long-Term Evolution' standard.

The concept of 5G communications has different interpretations worldwide, but there is a growing interest in the next generation of communication systems beyond 4G. Industry and academia are studying the scope and functionalities behind 5G. This can also lead to common standardisation objectives as well as a common timeframe to launch 5G technology.

Last updated on 29/08/2014