Europe has so far been at the forefront of technological and service innovation in mobile and wireless communications. The key factor in such an achievement has been a determined and concerted action at European level that brought down most of the technological and non-technological barriers in the way of GSM and then 3G. European Research and Development has been one of the necessary pillars for this success, and the successive Framework Programmes have catalysed the necessary critical mass of research resources in an integrated and coherent approach. A consensus-building approach, an early identification of the spectrum requirements, and a close articulation with policy objectives have also been instrumental in keeping this leadership.

There are, however, countries with higher rates of subscribers growth at present, both in 2G and 3G networks, other countries launching large research programmes on new wireless systems, voices that challenge the consensus approach with a more “company-competitive” approach or, on the contrary, which advocate for a stronger public intervention to support national standards, an approach abandoned by Europe some years ago. All these indicators may make us question European leadership. So half-way into the 6th Framework Programme and while we are defining the structure of FP7, it would be constructive to get the feedback of research community and industry on the best strategy on the way ahead, by confronting the different approaches and reflecting on the possible need of a paradigm change for the development of future mobile and wireless systems. This may be one of the main conclusions of this 14th annual edition of the Mobile and Wireless IST Summit, thanks not only to the IST projects results presentation, but also to an increased number of non-IST paper presentations and the inclusion in the programme of a special session in 4G systems proposals in Asia .

This reflection, together with the input from the mobile technological platform and other industrial consultations, should help to define the strategy for the research to be carried out within the 7th Framework Programme. The European Commission has proposed a considerable increase in the research budget for FP7 that will include, no doubt, the budget dedicated to mobile and wireless communication technologies. So again, we have the opportunity to underpin the development of new mobile systems with coordinated research. After having made available mobile communications to all European citizens any where in Europe with the 2nd generation mobile (2G), and launched broadband services with 3G, we should now focus our research on the user, to make a high quality of experience available, with high performance systems, rich service provision, security, scalability and ubiquity at an affordable price.

Finally, we would like to thank the organisers and contributors, and especially the Technical University of Dresden, the Summit Chairman Prof. Gerhard Fettweis and his assistants, Patrick Herhold and Reiko Schlager, who have organised this very professional conference, with a record number of paper submissions. For the first time it was necessary to run 4 parallel technical tracks plus a poster session. This will ensure a superior quality Summit with a very high participation. It will be a serious challenge to maintain the same quality and participation for the Summits to come.


Dresden , June 2005

Francisco Guirao Augusto de Albuquerque
Scientific Officer,
European Commission
Head of Unit (Communication Technologies), European Commission