• Director of the Future Networks Team in DG CONNECT at the European Commission

    Pearse O'Donohue

Insights from the European Conference on Networks Communications (EuCNC) which brought together world academics and representatives of major organisations in the domain of Network Communications and Systems.

Last week I attended the European Conference on Networks Communications (EuCNC) and I am happy to share with you some insights from this year's conference. I especially thank Prof. Luis Correia (University of Lisbon) and Prof. Matti Latva-aho (University of Oulu) for the wonderful organisation of this conference in the beautiful town of Oulu, the city that never sleeps!  
This year's motto was: "5G European Roadmap, Global Impact". More than 630 participants, 136 presentations in regular sessions, 70 special sessions presentations, 40 exhibitions, 9 workshops and 4 tutorials contributed widely to the success of this event.        

The conference focused on various aspects of 5G communication systems and networks, including cloud and virtualisation solutions, management technologies, and vertical application areas. Researchers from all over the world had the opportunity to present their latest research results. The European 5G Community was also present and demonstrated nineteen research projects results from Phase 1 of the 5GPPP.        
These results form the basis of industrial positions that are being proposed to standardisation bodies for 5G standardisation, including new waveforms for radio access, exploitation of new spectrum, or reengineered core network including flexible cloud computing technologies as typical examples.

I was so pleased to see that EuCNC is again definitely more global than ever. A strong international cooperation is developing and will help us move forward on issues of global importance such as spectrum identification and standardisation. Our 5G R&I actions are also important in the context of the 5G Action Plan which was approved by the European Parliament on June 1st, 2017. The action plan emphasises the importance of rapid deployment of 5G in Europe and the strong emphasis put by the research community on test beds and trials. At EUCNC I saw important preparatory steps in that respect, paving the way towards future operational deployments. This is definitely needed, in order to put Europe as part of the leading 5G nations. It will also helpfully reach the full 5G potential: support additional revenue streams of more than 100 Billion € per year in Europe and create more than a million jobs.

The 5G PPP launched in 2013 by former Commissioner Neelie Kroes includes 3 phases:

  1. R&I on basic technologies and subsystems

  2. Proof of concepts and early demonstrators

  3. trials and large scale demonstrations

At this edition of EUCNC, we proudly launched the 5GPPP Phase 2 with 21 new projects. We have presented them during two special sessions, and highlighted at the same time the key achievements of Phase 1. Collaboration between these projects within the PPP will be key for standardization and spectrum, international cooperation towards global convergence and engaging partners from vertical sectors.

A concrete example of 5G reaching to vertical sectors is the Connected and Autonomous Driving. This is a flagship 5G application the Commission supports in the context of connected mobility. It is based on full deployment of 5G connectivity along transport paths by 2025, as targeted by the 5G Action Plan.

We currently prepare for 5G PPP phase 3, to be implemented under the H2020 work programme covering the 2018-20 timeframe. It will be dedicated to large scale experiments of 5G tech in Europe, and support the 5G Action plan of having early trials in 2018. Every Member State will commit enable 5G in at least one major city by the end of 2020. All urban areas and major terrestrial transport paths should have uninterrupted 5G coverage by 2025.           

In conclusion, the EU is putting in place a comprehensive 5G policy that covers all cycles of 5G as a new disruptive technology, from research to deployment. Spectrum, standards, trials and international cooperation are at the centre of this policy. Europe has much progressed towards the identification of 5G pioneer bands; It's now time for Europe to prepare for 5G deployments through larger scale testing and validation trials, which is now the focus of the 5G PPP. I was quite happy to see that this year's edition of EUCNC confirmed this trend which now becomes the focus of 5G research and innovation in Europe.               

I am already looking forward to next year's edition EuCNC2018, which will take place in Ljubljana, Slovenia from June 18th to 21st, 2018. Exciting times ahead!    

Do not forget to visit the conference website where you will find all the presentations, videos, and contributions from the keynote speakers, panellists, industry figures and researchers during the four day event. Also feel free to have a look at the photo gallery. 

Follow @EuCNC where you will find all information about next year's edition, and also our account @NetTechEU

21 June 2017
Last update: 
21 June 2017