14 February 2014
IMDEA Networks Institute has become a member of the 5G Infrastructure Association, a legal entity created by the European Commission and aiming to accelerate work on fifth-generation (5G) cellular networks for 2020 and beyond. This partnership initiative will lead the 7-year long European effort to produce and influence international standards for next-generation cellular networks, laying out the ambitious vision and research agenda.
Membership of the 5G Infrastructure Association is limited to 36 stakeholders, amongst which there are key industry players such as Telefónica, Alcatel-Lucent, Deutsche Telekom, Nokia, Orange, Huawei, NEC, DOCOMO, Telenor ASA and Ericsson, together with academic and independent research organizations and SMEs. The Association leads the development of the EU program “Horizon 2020 Advanced 5G Network Infrastructure for Future Internet PPP". It intends to deliver solutions, architectures, technologies and standards to create ICT infrastructure and intelligent communication networks that are ubiquitous, robust, flexible, interoperable and cost effective. The launch of the 5G initiative arises in the context of “Horizon 2020”, the EU research framework program, which will operate from 2014 for a period of 7 years with an estimated budget of 80 billion euro. The partnership has received a 1.4 billion euro program budget.
The 5G Infrastructure Association also operates as the Steering Board driving the new European Technology Platform Net!works+ISI. This community of over 500 Information and Communications Technology (ICT) carriers, system makers and research groups from the EU and associated countries aims to develop 5G technologies, providing a blueprint for the deployment of 5G networks with the 2020 horizon in sight.
The added impact value brought to IMDEA Networks from its participation on this groundbreaking forum reinforces the international role of the young Spanish research Institute. Since 2006, the Madrid-based organization has performed cutting-edge networking science aimed at achieving excellence in ICT Infrastructure and network research. The ICT sector is a key catalyst for industrial, societal and environmental progress, with a vital socio-economic impact on Europe’s future.
The rise of mobile Internet has been probably the most remarkable communications phenomenon of recent years. The ICT market now contributes to 5-6% of EU GDP, and employs more than 7 million people, with a positive correlation between the penetration of mobile phones and boost to GDP per capita. 4G is just the beginning of a revolution towards Internet access to services of an unprecedented complexity and richness. The future 5G network will provide advancements such as 1000 times higher wireless area capacity for 7 billion people and 7 trillion objects, 90% energy savings per service provided, the reduction of the average service creation time cycle from 90 days to 90 minutes, and the creation of a secure and reliable Internet, with “zero perceived” downtime for services.
Telecommunication infrastructures built in Europe have helped improve the quality of life of Europeans by enriching services in many areas increasingly dependent on connectivity such as health and well being, energy and the environment, or transportation. The 5G initiative also aims to reduce the digital gap between urban and rural areas, accelerate the adoption and use of advanced ICT services, strengthen the competitiveness of the European economy and promote innovation and research that enable Europe to recapture the global technological lead.