European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes announced €50 million for research to deliver 5G mobile technology by 2020, with the aim to put Europe back in the lead of the global mobile industry.
"I want 5G be pioneered by European industry, based on European research and creating jobs in Europe – and we will put our money where our mouth is," Kroes said.
By 2020 worldwide mobile traffic alone will reach a 33 times increase compared to 2010 figures. In this time Internet access will become dominated by wireless devices such as smartphones, tablets, machines and sensors, requiring more efficient and ubiquitous technology to carry the data traffic.
Every sector of the economy is going digital. Every EU business and citizen needs to know they can enjoy easy-to-use, reliable and fast Internet on the move. This new wave of research projects promises to bring cutting-edge ultra-high-speed mobile broadband technology to the daily lives of Europeans.
METIS, 5GNOW, iJOIN, TROPIC, Mobile Cloud Networking, COMBO, MOTO and PHYLAWS are some of the new EU research projects that address the architecture and functionality needs for 5G / beyond 4G networks.
EU industrial players joining forces with academia and research institutes involved in these projects span from worldwide leading telecom operators (British Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom/Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Portugal Telecom), to the world's major telecom manufacturers (Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, Thales Communications), world's leading provider of business software (SAP) and also world-renowned automotive manufacturers (BMW).
In particular, the METIS project gains a €16 million fresh EU investment.
Overall, from 2007 to 2013 EU investments amount to more than €700 million for research on future networks, half of which is allocated to wireless technologies, contributing to development of 4G and beyond 4G
For example, the METIS overall technical goal is to provide a system concept that supports:
1000 times higher mobile data volume per area: network operators will serve many more users at the same time.
10 times to 100 times higher number of connected devices: new smart technologies will be invented when you connect your car, your fridge, your home energy and water controls.
10 times to 100 times higher typical user data rate: you will watch rich video content on the move.
10 times longer battery life for low power Machine-to-Machine-Communications: you will have more autonomy on the move and lower energy consumption.
5 times reduced End-to-End latency: you will enjoy smoother interaction with bandwidth-hungry applications and less waiting time.
Today there are 1.2 billion mobile broadband users, and the figure is growing by hundreds of millions each year.
EU long-term research support has been instrumental to share risks with industry for communication networks, whose development cycle is ten years.
Past EU research investments have delivered 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) and technologies used in the current third-generation (3G) 'Universal Mobile Telecom System' (UMTS) standards and the fourth-generation (4G) 'Long-Term Evolution' standard (see IP/09/1238).