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The future of telecommunications has come one step closer thanks to the ROCKET project, funded under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The project aims to provide a wireless solution that will increase bandwidth availability for consumers and increase efficiency. ROC...
Rocketing communications
The future of telecommunications has come one step closer thanks to the ROCKET project, funded under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The project aims to provide a wireless solution that will increase bandwidth availability for consumers and increase efficiency. ROCKET received EUR 3 million of EU funding out of the total project cost of EUR 4.34 million.

Mobile phones have almost become as commonplace as fixed-line phones. Indeed, in many developing countries the cost of laying fixed lines is so high that they are instead turning to mobile telephony. In Europe, mobile phones and wireless data transfers for computers are increasing in use and their day-to-day applications are expanding exponentially. This is why Europe urgently needs to look at what can be done now to realise the future needs of mobile networks.

The ROCKET project will do just that. The project partners will focus their efforts on two new technologies that they believe will be key to the future: Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMax) and Long-Term Evolution (LTE) mobile networks. WiMax technology provides for the wireless transmission of data using a variety of transmission modes. While LTE refers to the new mobile network standard that is being developed, experts believe that this will be a class above what is available today.

What the project specifically aims to do is to exploit underused radio spectrum frequencies. They want to give a level of autonomy to mobile terminals and base stations, which will be able to detect whether it is possible to make use of these underused frequencies at their location to increase the speed of information transmission.

The second part of the project intends to realise the implementation of relay terminals that will hopefully boost the performance of wireless networks significantly. This they believe can be done without the need to increase the number of large, expensive installations on the roofs of buildings, since these small relay terminals could be easily installed on traffic signals or street lights.

The project experts also consider that in some cases the mobile telephones and laptop computers of users could themselves act as relays. This would also lead to fewer problems related to limited access.

In more technical terms, these actions will lead to the creation of reconfigurable OFDMA Cooperative Networks enabled by agile-spectrum use. It is envisioned that this will enable bit rates higher that 100Mbps with peak throughputs higher than 1Gbps.

Beneficiaries will include all applications requiring a high transmission speed in mobile environments. This includes internet content downloads, online video games, television on mobile telephones, video calls, etc. The terminals that will benefit most from this new technology, however, will be pocket computers and notebooks, as well as electronic organisers and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs).

The project includes nine research institutions from all over Europe, including Czech Technical University (Czech Republic), the University of Aachen (Germany), the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, (Spain) and the University of Surrey (United Kingdom).
Source: ROCKET; Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya

Related information

Countries

  • Czech Republic, Germany, Spain
Record Number: 30300 / Last updated on: 2009-01-05
Category: Miscellaneous
Provider: EC