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EC throws weight behind 5G research

Next-gen network development gains impetus from new public-private partnership

EC throws weight behind 5G research
Dr Werner Mohr, head of research alliances, NSN, will chair the 5G PPP Association.

The European Commission has thrown its weight behind next generation telecoms technology by launching a 5G public-private partnership (PPP).

The 5G PPP project, which will start at the beginning of 2014, will further develop 5G technology and prepare for the future standardisation of the systems and components that are expected to be deployed in the next decade.

The EC said that it expects the initiative to help develop technology capable of providing 1000 times higher capacity compared to 2010 and a 90% reduction in energy consumption.

The EC has set an initial budget of EUR700m for the project, according to a report from the GSMA.

"Responding to ever-increasing demand for data usage, it is today commonly agreed that a continuous long-term investment into research and development and the deployment of communication systems standards has to be ensured," the European Commission said in a statement. "Global standards are a fundamental cornerstone in reaching ubiquitous connectivity, ensuring worldwide interoperability, enabling multi-vendor capability and economies of scale."

Numerous vendors including Ericsson, Huawei, NSN and Alcatel Lucent, have already offered their support for the initiative. Operators including Turk Telekom and Orange are also among the companies associated with the project.

Dr Werner Mohr, head of research alliances, NSN, who will chair the 5G PPP Association, said: "This is an important milestone towards an industry-wide agreement on use cases, requirements and technologies for 5G. LTE and its continuous evolution will be sufficient until the end of the decade. However, after 2020 a new generation of technologies will be needed to address market demands. The industry and academia are working together to create a high-performance 5G environment."

NSN is conducting research on the flexible use of spectrum and its propagation in new, higher bands, both for centimeter1 and millimeter2 wave. In addition, the company is working on system design for ultra-dense small-cell deployments to deliver the high data rates and ultra-low latency that will be needed to support future use cases such as augmented reality and tactile Internet.

Other major research areas for NSN are wide area enhancements, including efficient support of machine type communication; and 5G architecture to integrate existing and new technologies. NSN is also analysing how 5G may be adapted to such new uses as smart grids, homes or cities.

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