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The Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS
Information & Communication Technologies

Future Networks: Connecting the digital society



Future Networks R&D Success stories

  • EU and Japan join forces to tackle data explosion and build 100Gbps internet – 5000 times faster than today’s average EU speed (July 2013, EC Press Release)
    The European Commission and Japan today announce six research projects aiming at redefining internet architectures to increase the efficiency of networks in carrying data. One project aims to build networks 5000 times faster than today’s average European broadband speed (100Gbps compared to 19.7Mbps).
  • [DISCUS] All-optical broadband ... cheaper, faster and greener (May 2013, Information Centre Success Stories) 

    A European team of researchers is exploring new ways of using fibre-optic technology to deliver ultra-high-speed internet access to even the remotest locations in Europe, at less cost and with less impact on the environment. It is ambitious, but innovative solutions are needed to strengthen Europe's digital economy and provide jobs.

  • Fresh €50 million EU research grants in 2013 to develop '5G' technology (February 2013, EC Press release)
    European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes announces €50 million for research to deliver 5G mobile technology by 2020, with the aim to put Europe back in the lead of the global mobile industry. "I want 5G be pioneered by European industry, based on European research and creating jobs in Europe – and we will put our money where our mouth is," Kroes said.
    METIS, 5GNOW, iJOIN, TROPIC, Mobile Cloud Networking, COMBO, MOTO and PHYLAWS are some of the new EU research projects that address the architecture and functionality needs for 5G / beyond 4G networks.
  • [OMEGA] OMEGA research project uses light to help achieve higher broadband speeds (February 2013, EC Press release)
    An EU-funded research project has created a system for higher broadband speeds that can connect many more devices in the home. Today, Wi-Fi is the home networking solution everyone uses, but it is unlikely to be able to meet future demands by itself. To ensure, for example, that families could stream multiple movies at the same time, researchers on the "HOME Gigabit Access" (OMEGA) project have developed a network using a combination of power cables, radio signals and light. This technology could ensure that every office and household has enough bandwidth to connect a range of "smart" objects to each other like phones, cars and domestic appliances. The OMEGA project is run by researchers from companies, universities and research institutions in Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Slovenia and the United Kingdom. The EU provided €12.41 million of a total budget of €19.13 million.
  • [EARTH] Digital Agenda: EU research breakthrough will cut 4G / LTE mobile network energy use in half (May 2012, EC Press release)
    In coming years, internet access will be dominated by wireless devices such as mobile phones and tablets. Today there are 1.2 billion mobile broadband users, and the figure is growing by hundreds of millions each year. Mobile video and other data services consume much more energy than calls and SMS. This creates additional costs for mobile operators – ultimately passed onto consumers – and means the carbon footprint of mobile communications could almost triple from 2007 to 2020, an increase equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of Luxembourg. The EU-funded project EARTH has received the 2012 "Future Internet Award" prize for developing unprecedented energy efficiency solutions for wireless communication networks. Researchers from companies such as Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Telecom Italia, DOCOMO, and from universities in Belgium, France, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and UK, have optimised the energy use of 4G/LTE (Long-Term Evolution) base stations, which account for the highest energy consumption in the mobile network.
  • [SARDANA] A cheap and fully optical solution for ultra-fast internet (March 2012, Technology Marketplace feature)
    Blisteringly fast Internet speeds, more robust connections and a big increase in network capacity at little extra cost, even in rural areas? It's the sort of fantasy that keeps telecommunication company executives and bandwidth-hungry Internet users awake at night... until now. Groundbreaking fibre-optic technology recently developed with EU-funding is promising all those things and more.
  • [SAIL, 4WARD] Future Internet … a thing of beauty and promise (February 2012, Technology Marketplace feature)
    'Growth in the future will depend more and more on harnessing information technology,' noted European Commission President José Manuel Barroso in his recent State of the Union speech, in which he emphasised the need for 'a digital single market, which will benefit each and every European by around EUR 1500 per year.' The Internet world we live in today shows that we already depend on information technology for many fundamental aspects of our lives. We socialise, do banking, gamble, and book everything from holidays to hair appointments, all online. EU-funded research is helping to build a Future Internet that will take these transformations further.
  • [NEWCOM++] Maintaining Europe's competitive edge in wireless communications (January 2012, , Technology Marketplace feature; see also DAE reference )
    Ever since the roll out of the GSM standard, Europe has been a world leader in mobile and wireless communications. But European academia and industry cannot afford to rest on their laurels. In order to maintain Europe's competitive edge, EU-funded researchers are working on technologies that go far beyond the next generation of wireless and mobile communications.
  • [TRILOGY] Digital Agenda: award-winning EU-funded project could bring more powerful broadband connections (October 2011, EC Press release)
    An EU funded project which has developed a long-term solution to Internet traffic congestion has just received a prize at Future Internet Week in Poznan, Poland. The TRILOGY project received the Future Internet Award for its outstanding contribution to the Internet architecture and protocols, which could help provide Europeans with faster, more reliable Internet connections.
    The three year €9.2 million project, completed in March 2011, brought together researchers and companies from Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece, Spain, UK and the US to find methods of managing traffic so that congestion at choke points of the network is minimised, thus resulting in better quality connections for Internet users. The EU contributed €5.9 million in ICT research funding.
  • [TRILOGY] Building a smarter Internet (October 2011, Technology Marketplace feature; see also DAE reference )
    The proliferation of smart phones, smart TVs and smart cars could lead to 50 billion internet-connected devices by 2020. EU-funded scientists are working hard to create a smarter internet to cope with this massive growth.
  • Redefining the net: TRILOGY brings users high quality, more reliable connections (October 2011, EC Technology Factsheet)
    The Internet as we know it is transforming. With YouTube reaching 3 billion views per day and 2 days' worth of uploaded videos every minute in 2011, traffic has reached unprecedented figures. Services and applications nowadays have led to such skyrocketing numbers, with Internet capacity hitting its limits. EU-funded project TRILOGY has seen European researchers improve Internet traffic management and preserve high quality connections: all this in the context of present-day social, economic and technical demands.
  • [FUTON] New cellular network architecture promises mobile video and low environmental impact (September 2011, Technology Marketplace feature; see also DAE reference )
    Since the first mobile phones went on sale three decades ago, cellular network architecture has changed little. But if mobile communications are to keep pace with current bandwidth and user demands a redesign may be necessary. EU-funded researchers are proposing a solution that could provide mobile streaming video and online games for users and also create a whole new market for network infrastructure providers.
  • [COGEU] Filling in the gaps: COGEU sees Europeans switch over to broadband over TV white spaces (September 2011, EC Technology Factsheet)
    Anyone who's switched to digital TV is all too familiar with its upsides: more channels, enhanced image quality or interactivity. But there is more to the ongoing analogue-to-digital switchover than meets the (usual TV viewer's) eye. European researchers seized the opportunity to increase broadband coverage by developing ways to improve the use of locally undistributed frequencies. Widely known as TV white spaces (TVWS) or the "digital dividend", the airwaves refer to the 790MHz to 862 MHz spectrum freed up following the switchover from analogue to digital television. Funded under the EU Commission's 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development, COGEU (Cognitive radio systems for efficient sharing of TV white spaces in European context) project aims to develop the existing radio technology that ensures an efficient use of frequencies and eventually more broadband access. These efforts come in line with the Digital Agenda for Europe actions: adoption and implementation of a common EU policy for radio spectrum, in the larger context of bringing broadband to all Europeans.
  • An ultra-fast home network will be essential in future homes as users demand more data-intensive services, from high-definition video and 3D gaming to telepresence. EU-funded researchers have demonstrated a hybrid networking solution using different communications technologies, achieving data rates of up to one gigabit-per-second.
  • Putting sensors and actuators in everything from homes and cars to shoes and coffee cups promises to make our daily lives easier, safer and more efficient. But such 'ambient intelligence' requires a merger of the virtual and digital worlds. EU-funded researchers in the SENSEI project are bridging the gap and their results are already leading to 'smart cities' being set up all over Europe.
  • [OMEGA] OMEGA at the top of the data transfer game (25 August 2011, CORDIS Press release)
    Researchers in Europe have successfully developed a new transfer technology for video data. An outcome of the OMEGA project, the team transferred data at an extremely fast rate of 100 megabits per second (Mbit/s) without any losses.
  • A radio technology that transmits data at speeds of up to one gigabit-per-second (Gb/s), uses very little power, and can even determine the location of a person or object to within 50 cm, promises to revolutionise wireless communications.
  • Work by European scientists has prepared the ground to make ultra-high-speed broadband networks a reality for many more Europeans. Researchers developed technology that can cost-effectively deliver up to 1 gigabit per second (Gb/s) both to your front door and within the home network.
The bets have been placed: by 2013, all European citizens shall benefit from a broadband Internet connection. The stakes are high, and projects like ALPHA (Architectures for fLexible Photonic Home and Access networks) and SARDANA (Scalable Advanced Ring-based passive Dense Access Network Architecture) are there to make it all possible. Funded under the EU 7 th Framework Programme for Research and Development, both projects feature an innovative approach towards increasing fibre optic networks reach and quality of service for European users. A broader reach to remote, rural areas of up to 100 km and greater network capacity ensuring considerably faster broadband connections for end-users is what the two projects have delivered so far. Moreover, SARDANA's approach won the award for broadband capacity innovation at the 2011 Global Telecommunications Business Innovation Awards in the fixed network infrastructure category. This comes as encouraging news, given the Digital Agenda for Europe's main aims: enabling 30Mpbs connections for all Europeans and 100Mbps connections for at least 50% of households, by 2020.

Wherever you may find yourself - at home, on an intercontinental flight or enjoying an exciting road trip - staying connected is no longer a whim, but a real necessity. EUWB (Coexisting Short Range Radio by Advanced Ultra-Wideband Radio Technology), an EU-funded FP7 project in the "Future Networks" area, has taken Ultra Wide Band Radio Technology (UWB) some good steps further. EUWB uses this technology to develop smarter solutions for more efficient home entertainment, air travel and cars. This effort helps define the aim of the Digital Agenda for Europe: turning "Every European Digital".

* ICT Results was a service running from 2005-2010 that kept Europe's media and public up to date on the latest findings and achievements recorded by research projects supported by the European Union's Framework Programmes for funding research.
The service aimed to raise the visibility of ICT-funded innovations in the marketplace and among the wider community, while increasing the take-up of research results by technology users (companies, research organisations and public authorities) and investors.

  • The ReDeSign of European broadband cable networks goes live! (June 2010, Project press release)

EU researchers demonstrated the world’s first public live DVB-C2 transmission . The latest member of the Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) family of second generation digital broadcast standards allows for a major technological breakthrough in Cable TV network capacity, particularly for advanced digital video services such as High-definition television (HDTV) and Video on Demand (VoD). The leading European cable operators show great interest in the new standard and a rapid deployment in Europe is foreseen by the ReDeSign Project.