The European Commission and Japan has announced six research projects aiming at redefining internet architectures to increase the efficiency of networks in carrying data. One project aims to build networks 5000 times faster than today’s average European broadband speed (100Gb/s compared to 19.7Mb/s).
"Our Future Internet should know no barriers, least of all barriers created because we did not prepare for the data revolution,” said Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission.
The world generates 1.7 million billion bytes of data per minute; data traffic volumes doubled between early 2012 and early 2013 and are expected to grow 12-fold by 2018. Such big data is growing faster than networks' capacity to carry it. There is a pressing need for new and more efficient networks in light of a massive online data explosion that is expected to continue over the next decade.
The projects, will receive around €18m in funding, and touch on challenges such as cyber security, network capacity, storage, high density data traffic and energy efficiency.
The future of telecommunications and computing will see a world of fully interconnected users and devices, requiring more efficient technology able to overcome booming traffic or security issues. The amount of information produced on a daily basis is key to new services and applications – from improved internet search engines to limited road congestion. Placing big data on servers in the "cloud" will enable wireless devices interconnectivity (smartphones, tablets, machines and sensors) making up the Internet of Things.
This initiative brings together the European Commission, the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (MIC), the National Institute of ICT (NICT) along with European and Japanese industrial players, leading universities and R&D centres, such as Orange, Telefonica, NEC, Panasonic, NTT, KDDI, ADVA, STMicroelectronics and Intel.
The funded projects are:
STRAUSS aims to enable fibre optic networks at more than 100Gbps.
MiWEBA will handle capacity by making better use of existing radio frequencies in order to boost ultra-high speed and mobile connections.
NECOMA will explore new ways to enhance personal data security in sensitive environments such as medical history records by developing new metrics to evaluate threats and potential impact of cyber attacks.
GreenICN will try to ensure an efficient use of energy in information networks. It will test network reliability in post-disaster situations (earthquakes, hurricanes) when energy resources are scarce and network performance is vital.
ClouT will try to allow real-time control of sensors enabling smart city operations such as energy use, traffic flow or emergencies. To achieve this target, the project will integrate Cloud Computing and Internet of Things features.
FELIX will set up joint EU-Japan experimental platforms that will help universities and research centres test new network technologies. Such new platforms will improve researchers' use of their experimental facilities.