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Workshop on "Next Generation Networks"
Geneva,  9-10 July 2003


Wireless Systems beyond IMT-2000: The EU Research Agenda

Collaborative research programmes sponsored by the European Union have been instrumental in supporting the ETSI decision of January 1998 for a 3G radio access standard. These programmes have also played a key role to define the 3G network architecture as defined under Release 99 and beyond. With a typical time frame of about 10 years to research and develop a new generation of wireless networks and systems, the EU research agenda in the field of wireless communications is today focused on the evolution towards systems beyond IMT 2000. The ‘Vision’ report, earlier released by the ITU WP 8F provides a system basis for further investigations of the issue. The Wireless World Research Forum, born out of an European initiative under the 5th Framework Programme of the Union, has also identified a number of key areas to investigate for the evolution of wireless systems beyond IMT 2000. In essence, these systems are expected to provide true global mobile multimedia capabilities, personalised services, seamless access across heterogeneous networks, and increased security and QoS. Challenges are numerous, and include diversified topics such as possible new radio broadband accesses at higher frequency bands, QoS across heterogeneous access networks, advanced mobility features such as multi homing, operational concepts and operator issues, notably in the context of multiple domain and multiple providers scenario. At the overall system level, integration and convergence of mobile networks with broadcasting networks, together with the possible role of the much debated satellite component are also part of the overall problematic. The presentation will thus introduce the European collaborative research initiatives aiming at federating a shared European approach towards future mobile and wireless systems, together with the main research topics they address. 

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