Friday, September 23, 2005

Technologies for the Wireless Future: : Wireless World Research Forum (WWRF)
Rahim Tafazolli (Editor)
October 2004

See the future through the vision of the Wireless World Research Forum.

Technologies for the Wireless Future, the result of pioneering cooperative work of many academic and industrial researchers from WWRF, provides a wide picture of the research challenges for the future wireless world. Despite much emphasis on hard technology, the user is certainly not forgotten as this book provides an all-encompassing treatment of future wireless technologies ranging from user centred design processes and I-centric communications to end-to-end econfigurability and short-range wireless networks. The content will have a wide-ranging appeal to engineers, researchers, managers and students with interest on future of wireless.

"An important publication that highlights the significance of WWRF to the wireless industry. Rarely has one publication covered the whole spectrum of future wireless technologies from human sciences to radio interface technologies, highlighting the research work done both in academic and the business worlds." Tero Ojanperä, Senior Vice President, Head of Nokia Research Center

"Provides an excellent overview about the future development of mobile and wireless communication. Starting from a user centric approach and the service infrastructure, a reference model and roadmaps are being built up. This book presents useful and necessary information to all, who are involved in research and development, strategy and standardisation activities towards future systems." Anton Schaaf, CTO and Member of the executive board Siemens COM

"The WWRF should be commended for taking an approach that defines technology requirements from a user perspective. This publication makes an important contribution to defining the technologies that will be most relevant to future wireless communications." Padmasree Warrior, Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer Motorola

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An introduction to the Wireless World Research Forum (WWRF)
Harald Johansen

Third generation mobile systems are currently being rolled out in bulk. Given the amount of money at stake or already invested, these systems are destined to succeed on an even larger scale than current second-generation mobile telecommunication systems like GSM.

Second generation systems have succeeded due to their ability to meet demands for mobility of voice, global availability and roaming as well as simple messaging. In essence, third generation mobile technologies address the essential need of being in permanent contact with the Internet and its information as well as e-commerce transaction services. It is expected that mobile access will outnumber fixed access to the Internet from as early as 2003.

Questions for the future

How will this technological revolution continue? As history has shown, mobile systems pass through a paradigm shift roughly in a ten-year cycle. This implies that now is the time to consider the wireless world of 2010. There are a few key questions concerning this that we can already raise:

* What essential demand will a wireless world address?
* How can wireless communication become universally available to both people and machines?
* How can technological advances be combined in a consistent manner?
* What business models will drive a future wireless world?

These and other questions are currently being discussed by industry partners. Finding answers requires substantial research and consultation amongst industry partners.

Collaborating on wireless visions

Driven by the good experiences from the collaboration in European RTD programmes Alcatel, Ericsson, Nokia and Siemens announced the creation of the "Wireless World Research Forum (WWRF)" in December 2000. Later Motorola joined the initiative as a founding member. The objective of the forum is to formulate visions on strategic future research directions in the wireless field amongst industry partners and academia, and to generate, identify, and promote research areas and technical trends for mobile and wireless system technologies. The timeframe for reflection is in the range of 10 to 15 years from now on.

WWRF intends to constructively contribute to the work done within the UMTS Forum, ETSI, 3GPP, IETF, ITU and other relevant bodies regarding commercial and standardisation issues derived from the research. Liaisons are now being established to these bodies. The forum is open to all interested parties.

At the time of the first meeting of the WWRF’s General Assembly, held in Stockholm on 17-18 September 2001, the forum had 31 full members and 9 sponsoring members. In the meantime, ie up to November 2001, the number of members has increased to more than 50. Members now include among others, network operators Vodafone, France Télécom, Telefonica, the Finnet Group, Sonera, CELLCOM Israel Ltd and AT&T Wireless Services. WWRF would welcome even more operators.

"Book of Visions"

Conceptually, the WWRF is a further development of work done during 2000 in the Wireless Strategic Initiative (WSI) a project under the IST Programme of the European Union. The WSI project organised and invited a panel of international experts to develop first concepts for future wireless communications. The result of this panel was a publication titled "The Book of Visions 2000", which set out some of the headlines to be discussed in the years to come. WWRF has continued this work and a comprehensive "Book of Visions 2001" was presented at a workshop in Paris on 6-7 December 2001.

Co-operation between WWRF and EURESCOM

EURESCOM decided to become a member of WWRF, because of its large interest in the work of the forum and co-operation between the two bodies has already started. Experts from the WWRF were invited to a workshop in Oslo, organised by EURESCOM study P1145 "4G – the next frontier", to present their views and discuss them with partners from network operators. Study P1145 was set up to identify initiatives that will have an impact on the development of next generation mobile systems and assess them from a network operator and service provider perspective. Furthermore, the study aims to paint a broad picture of customer needs and preferences with respect to beyond 3G (B3G) networks and make a first classification of service capabilities to be foreseen by a B3G system, thereby identifying the benefits of such services to the customers. A further objective of the study was to outline a vision from the perspective of network operators and service providers on a seamless evolution of mobile systems beyond 3G, establishing a potential roadmap for the evolution of beyond 3G systems.

Study P1145 produced several project proposals for the Work Programme 2002. Three of them are likely to be included in the programme. They are dealing with the telco vision of systems beyond 3G, wireless home networking and the business potential and convergence benefits from systems beyond 3G. These projects reflect the high potential for fruitful co-operation between WWRF and EURESCOM.

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