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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 17 October 2014

EU & Japan researchers join forces to deliver the 1 Gigabit Olympics

The European Commission and Japan are announcing today four research projects developing new technologies for high-speed networks in highly-dense user areas. Joint investments amount to €12 million and more than 40 partners are involved. Researchers will notably deliver more than 1 Gigabit bandwidth for each member of the crowd at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium, right in time for the 2020 Olympics.

We need fast mobile internet because the growth of smart phones and tablets has dramatically increased mobile internet usage. At the same time people use these devices more and more for real-time video-streaming, which old networks can't cope with. The number of mobile broadband users is expected to reach 4 billion by 2017.

We are facing daily drops in our internet connections in many public areas of our cities, in public transport, stadiums, shopping centres, conference centres, and concert halls.

Increasing the throughput of communications per user in such situations is difficult because of many restrictions relating to the conventional communication systems for densely located users. In Japan, for example, one major challenge is to maximise the total capacity of communications towards the 2020 Olympic Games in stadiums, trains, or other public areas. Not only in Japan but also all over the world and here in Europe, we need more network capacity to realise seamless communications.

Vice-President of the European Commission @NeelieKroesEU, responsible for the Digital Agenda, said: "It’s not enough to have a beautiful smart phone – it needs to work everywhere you want it to work. Investments in fast broadband research will repay taxpayers many times over. Europe is leading efforts to make 5G a reality."

Alongside the potential business opportunities for participating companies in both regions, previous successes of this type of EU-Japan collaboration include the joint support of the – now global – 3G standard for mobile phones.


The EU and Japan will each invest €6 million of funding from the Horizon 2020 #H2020 programme in the four projects:

RAPID will use innovative radio network architectures to advance #5G technology. It will support smart phone internet download of more than 1Gbs bandwidth to each user in an Olympic stadium and other crowded public areas by 2017. This means users will be able to download a 1-hour HD movie in just 30 seconds.

iKaaS will develop a smart and secure platform for smart cities based on big data resources collected from Internet of Things (#IoT) sensing environments such as mobile terminals, smart devices and smart homes.

SAFARI will develop programmable optical hardware for novel multi-flow transport functions scalable to at least 400Gbps/channel. This means that one channel could carry 20.000 real-time HD blue-ray video streams (20 Mbit/s) at the same time.

FESTIVAL will provide joint EU-Japan IoT experimentation platforms, where experimenters can validate their smart ICT service developments.

More than 40 partners from ten countries:




Technical University of Denmark


University of Oulu


CEA-LETI, EGM, Inno TSD, Sopra Group


InnoTec21, Coriant, Corning Optical Communications, University of Duisburg-Essen


WINGS ICT Solutions


Centre for Research and Telecommunication for Networked Communities (CREATENET), Engineering




Atos, City of Madrid (Environmental Health, Air Quality and Public Transports Authorities), Region of Madrid (Environmental Health Risk Surveillance Department), City of Santander, University of Cantabria


University of Kent, University of Surrey, University of Southampton


ACUTUS, Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, Doshisha University, Electronic Navigation Research Institute, Fujikura, Hitachi Limited, Hitachi Solutions East Japan, Japan Research Institute for Social Systems, JR West Japan Communications, KDDI R&D Laboratories, KDDI Research Institute, Knowledge Capital Management Office (KC), Koden Techno info, Kokusai Kogyo, Kyoto Sangyo University, NTT Corporation, Osaka University, RIKEN, Ritsumeikan University (RU) and Tohoku University.

EU actions to make 5G a reality

In February 2013, €50 million were invested in research projects (press release) to work on the architecture and functionality needs for 5G. A key step was taken last December when the Commission launched a Public-Private Partnership on 5G (press release - factsheet). The EU is investing €700 million over the next seven years into the 5G-PPP through the Horizon 2020 #H2020 programme. EU industry is set to match this investment by up to 5 times, to more than €3 billion euros.

In February 2014, European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes called for global consensus on 5G by 2015: "Let's find a global consensus on the scope of 5G, its main technological constituents, and the timetable for putting it in place. Let's work this out together. And let's work it out soon: by the end of 2015. So all our citizens can get the 5G boost as early as possible." (speech)

Last June, the European Commission and Korea agreed to work towards a global definition of 5G and to cooperate in 5G research. They also agreed on the need for harmonised radio spectrum to ensure global interoperability and on the preparation of global standards for 5G (press release).

Towards 5G - @NetTechEU

Useful links

EU-Japan ICT Cooperation – joining forces for the Future Internet #FutureInternet

5th ICT EU-Japan Symposium in ICT Research and Innovation

EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation

Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan

National Institute for Information and Communications Technology, Japan

Contacts :

Email: Tel: +32.229.57361, Twitter: @NeelieKroesEU

For the public: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or by e­mail

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