Europe's 5G PPP preparing to dole out cash for next-gen network development

Europe is moving forward with its effort to stake a claim on the 5G beachhead as it formalizes plans to accelerate and structure research and innovation via a 5G public-private partnership (5G PPP).

5G PPP Europe plan

5G PPP phases, from 2012 to 2020. (Source: ETSI Future Mobile Summit / DG Connect)

A signature ceremony for the PPP contractual agreement is set for Dec. 17, according to a presentation by Mario Campolargo, director, Net Futures, at DG Connect, also known as the European Commission's Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology.

A first call for proposals that will benefit from €125 million ($170 million) of planned funding will close on Nov. 11, 2014, said Campolargo, who gave the keynote speech at the ETSI Future Mobile Summit last month in Mandelieu, France.

Via its Horizon 2020 program, the European Union is committing more than €700 million ($950 million) to leverage private investment in 5G research and development funding between 2014 and 2020, he said.

According to Campolargo's presentation slides, the EU feels it can kick-start 5G research and innovation, more forward the investment cycle, smooth out fragmentation between industry players and exercise leadership on global consensus building.

However, he cited a number of expected hurdles regarding standards, including delivering "the right 'vision' on time, to enable main technological options between 2015 and 2018, supported by standardization in the 2018-2020 period."

In addition, Campolargo noted it will be challenging to ensure a fair return on investment for all players, both traditional and new, while stimulating innovation.

The first part of the 5G PPP effort is already underway in the form of Europe's METIS 2020 research effort. That project is setting the stage for a couple of years of basic research work and "vision building," Campolargo said. In 2016, the 5G PPP effort is expected to enter a system optimization and pre-standardization phase, followed by large-scale trials and early standardization during 2018-2020.

The goals for 5G technology are fairly broad but are already generally presumed to include provision of at least 1,000 times higher wireless area capacity than current mobile networks.

Other 5G key performance indicators listed by Campolargo include energy savings of up to 90 percent per service provided; reduction of the average service creation time cycle to 90 minutes from 90 hours; delivery of "zero perceived" downtime for services provision; facilitation of very dense deployments of wireless communication links; and enablement of advanced user controlled privacy.

For more:
- see this presentation (PDF)
- see this cellular-news article

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