Saturday, March 19, 2005

Europe's eMobility Group Seeks to Extend Wireless Lead

A group of 15 telecommunications companies launched an "eMobility Technology Platform" aimed preserving and extending Europe's lead in wireless communications in a way that best serves Europe's citizens and the European economy. The group will work with the research community and public authorities, most notably the European Commission, to create and maintain the required momentum in wireless R&D. The European Commission is currently in the process of finalizing its seventh Research Framework Programme. The hope is to see the current level of R&D funding doubled.

The European Commission estimates that 2.8 million jobs currently depend directly or indirectly on the mobile services industry in EU member states. The mobile services industry is believed to have contributed more the EUR 106 billion to EU GDP in 2004, and end users spent more the EUR 95 billion on mobile services and terminals during 2004, according to an Ovum study.

The key objectives of the eMobility Technology Platform are:

  • Development of a common mid- to long-term vision to maximize the benefit of mobile and wireless communications, thus enabling economic and social advance in the EU

  • Formulation of the requirements and options for major leading-edge
    applications of common interest

  • Identification of a set of generic applications for 2010 - 2020

  • Formulation of an action plan and time-table for the key developments

  • Investment in technology including R&D and human resources

  • Evolution of a consistent policy, spectrum and regulatory framework
    facilitating the long-term investments required.

The resulting work is expected to overcome technical challenges such as secured electronic payments, ensuring personal and business data access anywhere at anytime and seamless continuity of services between networks and devices.

Magnus Madfors, Chairman of the eMobility Steering Board, said "Mobile and wireless communications have created unprecedented possibilities for people to communicate and have been instrumental in generating economic growth. Europe has been leading this development, based on the timely initiative of administrations, the scale of the EU market, a consistent regulatory approach, as well as considerable industrial and R&D investment. In order to maintain the position of Europe in the global market for mobile and wireless systems in the 2010 - 2020 time frame, it will be necessary to develop large-scale European approaches to system research and development as well as to wireless services and applications in the context of digital convergence."

The fifteen participants in eMobility include Alcatel, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, France Telecom, H3G, Lucent Technologies, Motorola, Nokia, Philips, Siemens, STMicroelectronics, Thales, TIM, Telefónica Móviles España, S.A.and Vodafone. 1984, the European Commission first endorsed GSM as a pan-European solution for mobile communications.

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