The radio spectrum is the key enabler for innovative wireless services, including digital broadband and smart infrastructures (such as future internet, smart grid and intelligent transport systems). As a limited natural resource, the radio spectrum must be managed efficiently and exploited effectively. This requires development of new wireless communications technologies and standards for secure, efficient and flexible use of the radio spectrum. The JRC carries out research and measurement campaigns to test new technologies against the risk of interference and to ensure the coexistence of new and existing wireless services.
The emergence of new wireless applications and devices has dramatically increased the demand for radio spectrum, with the ensuing risk of causing harmful interference to primary radio services. Based upon tests and measurement in the radio-frequency and microwave domains, as well as in digital signal processing, the JRC aims to develop and validate suitable algorithms to evaluate the impact of emerging wireless communication technologies on existing wireless infrastructures. It also supports the development and testing of technologies to ensure the availability of efficient communications systems for security applications. On this basis, the JRC technically supports the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)  in the development of new standards for public safety communication and smart infrastructures with high bandwidth capability in Europe. By preparing the technical input to new standards in wireless communications, the JRC is also contributing to the development of Software defined radio (SDR) and cognitive radio (CR) technology, which are promising technologies that will allow flexible use of radio spectrum.
As the science and knowledge service of the European Commission, the Joint Research Centre's mission is to support EU policies with independent evidence throughout the whole policy cycle.