A new 5G Infrastructure Public-Private Partnership (PPP) was launched this week by the European Commission and the 5G PPP Association. It will involve research into solutions, architectures, technologies and standards for the 5G communication infrastructures of the next decade.

The 5G PPP brings together a broad range of stakeholders from the telecommunications and IT sectors as well as from research institutes. The founding members of the association are Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Nokia Solutions and Networks, Orange and satellite operator SES.

The European Commission and the industry are committing significant public funding to 5G research.

The communication network and service environment of 2020 and beyond will be infinitely richer and more complex than today. It is expected that in the next decade the network infrastructure will be capable of connecting people, machines and information in a flexible and truly mobile way. The future will encompass connected sensors, connected vehicles, smart meters and smart home gadgets way beyond our current experience of tablet and smartphone connectivity.

The 5G PPP will address the novel infrastructure requirements that will be needed to cater for these challenging and unprecedented growth and performance characteristics with a specific attention to energy efficiency. There may be a need to redefine the value chains, reinvent the roles and relationships between the players, whilst opening new innovation opportunities. At the same time, the introduction of virtualization and of software based network functionalities will require more flexibility and reactivity from the networks.

These new network requirements, technologies and architectures will introduce a huge range of industrial opportunities for both established and new actors and also for SME.