The commission is investing in LTE Advanced technology which could deliver speeds up to 1Gbps
The European Commission has announced that it is investing around €18 million in Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology that the it claims will underpin next generation 4G mobile networks.
In a statement, released this week, the EC announced that it is investing €18 million into research on an enhanced version of LTE known as LTE Advanced. The EC said that between 2004 and 2007, the EU invested around €25 million into LTE technologies and the new investment would build on the existing investment.
“LTE Advanced will propel mobile broadband speeds up to 1 gigabit (thousand megabits) per second, allowing users on the go to fully benefit from sophisticated online services such as high quality TV or video on demand,” the EC said in a statement.
The commission added that its investment in LTE technology will echo the support it provided to the GSM standard 25 years ago which helped it become the de facto technology for 80 percent of the world’s mobile networks.
“With LTE technologies, Europe’s research ‘know-how’ will continue to set the tone for the development of mobile services and devices around the globe, just as we did in the past decades with the GSM standard,” said Viviane Reding, the EU’s commissioner for telecoms and media. “LTE technologies will turn mobile phones into powerful mobile computers. Millions of new users will get ultra high-speed internet access on their portable devices, wherever they are. This will create tremendous opportunities and plenty of space for growing the digital economy.”
LTE should provide mobile internet speeds of up to 100 megabits per second, ten times faster than 3G mobile networks. According to the EC, the technology is currently being trialled by mobile operators in Finland, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK and is expected to be commercially available in Sweden and Norway in the first half of 2010.
In April this year, UK technology minister Stephen Carter said LTE technology could help the UK secure a place “in the forefront of global innovation, investment and quality in communications and technology”.