Initiation of the 5G Infrastructure PPP

First discussions on a new communications networks-oriented PPP started already in July 2012. The EU Commission invited European based industry for an orientation discussion in order to identify the most promising direction of a new initiative. The Competitiveness Week organized by European Commission in September 2012 was then also one key milestone for discussing research priorities for Europe in the context of H2020. The actual development of a formal proposal started in January 2013.

At Mobile World Congress, on February 26, 2013 in Barcelona, the Vice-President of the EU Commission Ms. Neelie Kroes invited industry to act:

“… And today I call on EU industry and other partners to join us in a Public-Private partnership in this area. An open platform that helps us reach our common goal more coherently, directly, and quickly. European 5G is an unmissable opportunity to recapture the global technological lead. And I hope you will be able to support and join us …”

Source: Commissioner Neelie Kroes, Smashing barriers and thinking big. Address at Mobile World Congress, 26 February 2013, Barcelona, Spain,

This call for a 5G PPP was the starting point for a group of industry companies and major European R&D centers to develop a proposal for the 5G Infrastructure PPP (5G infrastructure clearly highlighting that the Programme is covering more than just a new wireless generation). This Proposal Group included 31 organizations, representing many parts of the ICT sector, who replied to the call of the EC Commissioner Neelie Kroes.

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In April 2013, the European Commission informed the European Technology Platforms (Artemis JTI, ENIAC JTI, EPoSS ETP, ISI ETP, NEM ETP, NESSI ETP and Photonics21 ETP) and key industry associations (Business Europe, DigitalEurope, ETNO and GSMA) about this development emerging from the Net!Works European Technology Platform.  To align with this initiaitve, the Net!Works and the ISI ETPs formed  a new communication networks oriented ETP in October 2013.

  Proposal preparation and submission

The 5G Infrastructure PPP proposal elaborated by the Proposal Group during the first half of 2013 and first submitted a proposal to European Commission in June 2013 and followed with an improved version in September 2013.




“Creating a Smart Ubiquitous Network for the Future Internet” is addressing:

  • Overall long-term vision of the PPP and the strategic and specific objectives of the PPP (section 1),
  • Research and innovation strategy, in particular the scope of R&D and innovation challenges (section 2)
  • Expected impacts (section 3),
  • Governance of the programme (section 4).

The specific section 2 detailing the key research challenges and priorities for the complete 5G Infrastructure PPP Programme took benefit of the open consultation organized through the Net!Works ETP in May 2013. An important part of the overall evaluation process of PPP proposals was this public consultation with a wider community on the intended technical content of the proposal. For the 5G Infrastructure PPP, this consultation was done via the Net!Works community.

The technical part of the proposal, which is corresponding to a high-level research and innovation agenda for the PPP, was published on the Net!Works website on May 10, 2013 at the Future Internet Assembly 2013 in Dublin for public consultation. This consultation closed on 27 May 2013. The processing of comments has been organised by the Chairman of the Net!Works expert Group.

The PPP Programme will deliver solutions, architectures, technologies and standards for the ubiquitous 5G communication infrastructures of the next decade. The following key challenges / high-level KPIs were defined:

  • Providing 1000 times higher wireless area capacity and more varied service capabilities compared to 2010
  • Saving up to 90% of energy per service provided. The main focus will be in mobile communication networks where the dominating energy consumption comes from the radio access network
  • Reducing the average service creation time cycle from 90 hours to 90 minutes
  • Creating a secure, reliable and dependable Internet with a “zero perceived” downtime for services provision
  • Facilitating very dense deployments of wireless communication links to connect over 7 trillion wireless devices serving over 7 billion people
  • Enabling advanced User controlled privacy

The 5G PPP is complementary to the Future Internet-PPP, which is .progressing on services platform and applications and is accelerating the already high pressure for improved Infrastructure(s). The need to advance networks will be addressed e.g. by the 5G Infrastructure PPP to ensure the optimal user experience and European Leadership.

Based on the inputs from the Proposal Group and the very valuable inputs from the open consultation, the first version of the proposal was submitted to Vice President of the EU Commission Neelie Kroes on June 20, 2013. The final version submitted in September 2013 took into account the feedback received from the formal review process.

The proposal offered to establish an industry association for the 5G ppp using the elected members of the new Net!works/ISI ETP and a small number of companies set about doing this.


Establishing the Association

The 5G Infrastructure Association was registered by a Decree of the Belgian King on December 15, 2013. In order to speed up the process for registration five founding members Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, NSN, Orange and SES were driving this process in order to fulfill the minimum legal requirements on associations in Belgium.

Shortly after the forms for membership of this association were offered to the Elected ETB steering board members.


Contract preparation and Signature

Horizon 2020 offers a new instrument called Contractual PPP (cPPP). Article 25 of the EU Commission: REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL establishing Horizon 2020 describes the conditions and requirements on these PPP instruments. The 5G PPP is using this approach.

Source : EU Commission: REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL establishing Horizon 2020 – The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) and repealing Decision o 1982/2006/EC.

On December 17, 2013 the EU Commission signed the PPP Contractual Arrangement with the representatives of the 5G-infrastructure PPP Association, which describes the mutual commitment of both parties to the partnership in terms of the high-level ambitions, Key Performance Indicators and the intended budget envelope of the PPP for the financial period 2014 to 2020.

So, by end of 2013, the proposal had been stimulated, prepared, submitted , included in the H2020 work plan, approved, and signed – we now look forward to 2014 where the implementation will start.

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