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EC/Japan Develop High Speed Networks

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The European Commission and Japan have announced four research projects that will seek to develop new technologies for high-speed networks in dense user areas. The investments total €12million and more than 40 partners are involved.

Researchers are to deliver more than 1 Gigabit bandwidth for each member of the crowd at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium in time for the 2020 Olympics. The number of mobile broadband users worldwide is expected to reach four billion by 2017.

Vice-President of the European Commission Neelie Kroes, who is responsible for the EU strategy Digital Agenda, said: "It's not enough to have a beautiful smart phone – it needs to work everywhere you want it to work. Investments in fast broadband research will repay taxpayers many times over. Europe is leading efforts to make 5G a reality."

The EU and Japan will each invest €6 million funding from the Horizon 2020 EU research and innovation programme in the four projects:

• RAPID will use radio network architectures to advance #5G technology, supporting smart phone internet download of more than 1Gbs bandwidth to each user in an Olympic stadium and other crowded public areas by 2017. The move aims to enable the download of a 1-hour HD movie in just 30 seconds.

• iKaaS will develop a secure platform for smart cities based on big data resources collected from Internet of Things (#IoT) that will sense environments such as mobile terminals, smart devices and smart homes.

• SAFARI will develop programmable optical hardware for multi-flow transport functions that will be scalable to at least 400Gbps/channel. Theoretically, one channel could carry 20,000 real-time HD blue-ray video streams (20 Mbit/s) at the same time.

• FESTIVAL will provide joint EU-Japan IoT experimentation platforms, where experimenters can validate their smart ICT service developments.

In February 2014, European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes called for global consensus on 5G by 2015: "Let's find a global consensus on the scope of 5G, its main technological constituents, and the timetable for putting it in place. Let's work this out together. And let's work it out soon: by the end of 2015. So all our citizens can get the 5G boost as early as possible."

Last June, the European Commission and Korea agreed to work towards a global definition of 5G and to cooperate in 5G research.

Image courtesy of Digital Agenda Europe

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