The EC has sponsored a successful series of conferences in the area of Telecommunications/Networks, since many years ago, in order to showcase the results of the consecutive programmes on R&D, and the projects co-financed by these programmes. A brief history follows.
It all started with a workshop in Nuremberg in 1992 in the then called “RACE Mobile Telecommunications Workshop”. It was the beginning of a series of annual events where the mobile industry and academia where sharing their research visions and the project results obtained with the support of the European funding programmes for ICT. The EU research programmes in the sector started with RACE, continued with ACTS and IST, evolving in what we call today the ICT Theme of the European Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP7).
The Summit started with the involvement of three core projects out of 10 in the mobile telecommunications area. Today, the scale is completely different and the event involves nearly 100 projects featuring different aspects of Radio Access and Spectrum, Converged and Optical Networks, and Future Internet Technologies. Twenty years later, the Summit is a milestone event in the mobile and network communications area, attracting each year 400 to 600 key actors from all over Europe and beyond, both from industry and academia. The success of the Summit is also demonstrated by the high level of the speakers attending: CTOs, VPs and Lab Directors, together with senior managers, present their views on key issues for the upcoming research in the field.
Associated to the Summit itself, each year, a number of workshops, cluster meetings (and other side events) take place in parallel with and after the Summit, involving a subset of the participants, and effectively attracting additional participation to the event. Moreover, the dedicated workshops and tutorials on specific technical issues organised by EU projects partners are also materialising their contribution not only to the European industry but also to the education of young researchers.
Research in wireless and mobile communications, in the context of the EU Framework Programmes has proven to be of high scientific calibre, allowing operators, equipment providers and the service industry to gain important market shares within Europe and abroad. The successive European research framework programmes have been the necessary pillars in fostering the European leadership in the mobile sector, catalysing the necessary critical mass of research resources in an integrated and coherent approach.
Critical mass of research and technological development, together with a consensus building approach, an early identification of the spectrum requirements and a close articulation with policy objectives, have led to the establishment of key European standards, which are today adopted by a majority of countries world-wide (e.g., GSM, UMTS, LTE, and DVB). During all these years, European mobile players had a major role, not only in the Second generation (2G) of mobile telephony but also in the Third generation (3G) that was translated in the success of GSM and UMTS, followed today by the implementation of LTE (Long Term Evolution), leading towards the Fourth generation (4G) of mobile broadband systems: LTE Advanced.
At the outset, the mobile industry was facing the explosion of the mobile and wireless communications sector. Consequently, the Summit initially concentrated on mobile networks and internet convergence, radio and satellite resources management, shortwave radio and all related aspects involving manufacturers, operators and service providers.
In 2010, the title of the Summit has been revised again, being renamed “The Future Network and Mobile Summit”, aiming at reflecting the convergence and mergers of fixed broadband and mobile networks in the evolution towards the future networks. The purpose was to widen the Summit scope to integrate the fixed, optical, mobile and wireless technologies with the technological needs of the future networks.
In 2014, again a rename occurred, to “EuCNC – European Conference on Networks and Communications”, with the objective of approximating the conference to the objectives of the new Framework Programme, Horizon2020. The topics of the conference kept the broad perspective of the previous editions, and including satellite communications as well.
In 2021, the 6G Summit, originated from the 6G Flagship programme in Finland, one of the very first in its area, joined EuCNC, and the conference became the EuCNC & 6G Summit, highlighting the new era of the dawn of 6G.