Coming back from the European Conference on Networks Communications (EuCNC2014) held on 23-26 June in Bologna, it is my pleasure to share insights on how research and technology is developing in this area.

I was delighted to see so many experts and PhD students from the European research community on network technologies all together, that I like to call the EU's Net-Tech and 5G research pioneers, once again reunited with industry and policy-makers to discuss future trends, research results as well as funding opportunities under the Horizon 2020 programme (have a look at the photo gallery).

This year’s conference showcased 81 high-quality scientific papers published in the prestigious IEEE Xplore Digital Library delivering full text access to the world's highest quality technical literature in engineering and technology. More than 525 participants, 27 demonstration booths, 56 scientific posters, nine special sessions and twelve themed workshops contributed to the success of the event. I strongly invite you to visit the event's video blogs series covering the contributions from keynote speakers, industry figures and researchers during the four-day event.

Thanks to the dedication and commitment of the conference organisers, Prof. Luis Correia (University of Lisbon) and Prof. Roberto Verdone (University of Bologna), all delegates and sponsors contributed to a not-for-profit conference – in fact the conference's generated surplus was transformed into registration fee waivers and travel grants for 58 PhD students. What a great way of bringing in young talent and offering networking opportunities to young researchers with possibly their future industrial employers!

Facts and figures aside, EuCNC2014 stood out thanks to the framing theme of 5G research which also attracted numerous keynotes and delegates from other world regions of the world. I was very pleased to have in depth talks with distinguished guests from China, South Korea and Japan – we are taking concrete steps towards achieving global consensus on the 5G definition by the end of 2015. The global dimension of 5G research, standardisation, and policy is at the very heart of our activities in Horizon 2020.

5G gained an incredible momentum since last year when we launched the 5G-PPP and we started the new Horizon 2020 EU research programme. It is truly the promise of a first-class network infrastructure and a pillar of our activities in Horizon 2020 and we have great expectations ahead. It is the first time we look at networks sector as one of the strongest enablers of other sectors. Because we see clear trends towards everything on mobile, everything connected and everything virtualised, 5G will radically transform industries such as the automotive, the healthcare, energy, robotics and so many others (watch and share this animation).

Above all, 5G will be an innovation platform beyond traditional telecom industry and will allow for the emergence of an entire ecosystem of technological SMEs that is so close to our hearts in Europe.

The EU pioneered 5G research & innovation kick-start 5G-PPP. The European Commission has set aside €700 million for the research needed to get 5G-PPP up and running, while industry partners have committed to match the EU funding by up to five times (more than €3 billions). We have now a solid European initiative and research that is already yielding tangible results. EU aims high in 5G international cooperation in Research & Innovation, standards and policy is committed to build a global agenda to develop 5G, to make it ubiquitous and interoperable worldwide: so it works everywhere, for everyone, and at an affordable cost.

We are also considering the path towards deployment all along the way. We will show that the hundreds of millions of public taxpayers' money invested into 5G are yielding visible demonstrations and technologies that will be developed for and in Europe. I am already looking forward to attending the EuCNC2015 which I am sure will bring us closer to even more 5G exciting technology developments and research demonstrations. So Net-Tech is without any doubt the place to be if we are to experience amazing technology that will transform the digital society as we know it.

Follow @EuCNC, call for papers 2015 is already announced!



More info:

Towards 5G

EuCNC MEMO - 5G networks will be a leap, not a step, forward

10 July 2014
Last update: 
2 June 2015