Monday 22 November 16:00-17:30 room C2


After the commercial success of GSM (2nd generation mobile), the basis for the 3rd generation mobile has already been laid in Europe. The Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) was conceived nearly a decade ago and now there are concrete plans for deployment in Europe starting in 2002. It is now time to start thinking about the next generation of mobile and wireless networks that will complement GSM and UMTS – the 4th generation.

This session has a forward looking nature and addresses 4th generation technologies, networks and services from the following three perspectives, which are certainly not mutually exclusive, and whose evolution will be market led:

1. 4th generation as a concept that refers to bandwidth-on-demand broadband access and distribution networks with (a)symmetric bit rates in excess of 2 Mbit/s, including broadband wireless fixed access, broadband wireless local area networks, mobile broadband systems (MBS), interactive broadcasting networks (both terrestrial and satellite based). Within this perspective, it is important to maximise spectral efficiency and to explore new spectrum frontiers to support the anticipated demand.

2. 4th generation as a concept that refers to the need to provide seamless services over an increasing number of distinct and heterogeneous, fixed and wireless platforms and networks operating across different frequency bands. The concept goes beyond the need to develop systems-on-a-chip that can cover a few frequency bands and different technological parameters. It extends to full network and terminal reconfigurability, where continuous adaptation to the actual carried data streams, traffic load, channel conditions and service environments, takes place. This implies network protocols that adapt dynamically to changing channel conditions; protocols that allow the coexistence of low and high-rate users; congestion-control algorithms for changing channel conditions; etc. The service and applications potential of this perspective will also be discussed.

3. 4th generation as a concept that refers to:

  • the need to network, necessarily on an ad hoc basis, a myriad of ultra-low power devices (wireless sensors and actuators embedded in appliances as well as in living beings) capable of wirelessly transmitting a wide range of data rates (10 bit/s - 10 Mbit/s) over a wide range of frequencies (100kHz-100GHz)
  • other low power (0.1 - 100 mW) equipment, including PDAs, palmtops and laptops, where the available services and applications reconfigure and adapt themselves to the capabilities of the devices available in specific environments.


Chairperson: Jens Zander (S), Professor, Royal Institute of Technology, KTH

  • Jean-Michel Gabriagues (F), Product Strategy Manager, Alcatel
  • Juha Ylä-Jääski (FI), Research Fellow, Nokia Research Center: Towards a Mobile Information Society (.doc, 32kb)
  • Fiona Williams (IRL), Director, Ericsson Eurolab Deutschland
  • Michel Banatre (F), Director, INRIA: SIS : A New Paradigm for Mobile Communication Systems (.doc, 41kb)
  • David Birch (UK), Director, Consult Hyperion: The Generation Game - 3rd generation mobile is coming: time to think about the 4th (.doc, 23kb)


Colette Maloney (Colette.Maloney@cec.eu.int)
Francisco Guirao (Francisco.Guirao@dg13.cec.be)

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