The 5GPPP will define research projects that anyone is welcome to join, and set budgets for them. The proposals from each project will be evaluated and reviewed, and winners selected by independent evaluators convened by the EC. The winning outcomes will be submitted to international standards groups.
The European effort is not alone. China is ramping its own 5G collaborative research effort, referred to as the Future Forum, part of China's broad 863 research program.
Separately, Korea has formed a 5G Forum Steering Committee, and Japan's Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB) created its own advanced wireless group exploring the issue. International standards groups such as the IEEE and ITU will have their roles to play.
Indeed the ITU's World Radio Congress (WRC), held every three or four years, has a central role in defining spectrum for 5G. The WRC 2018 meeting is expected to be a key event for defining the 5G spectrum, which may occupy very different bands from today's cellular services.
Work has already started in anticipation of the WRC 2015 gathering, at which researchers aim to put the 5G spectrum issues on the 2018 agenda. "It's a very long-range process in the ITU," said Mohr.
The 5GPPP includes about three dozen members. They are a combination of companies, carriers, and research institutes including Alcatel-Lucent, CEA-LETI, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Huawei, NEC, Nokia Solutions and Networks, Sequans, and Telefonica.
5GPPP will work as a coordinating agency for the European Technology Platforms group, itself formed by merging two large research communities, one on communications and the other on satellite technology. Together they have more than 1,000 members.
The group aims to hammer out standard agreements in 2014 for how it will handle intellectual property rights, building on existing contracts used in other collaborative efforts.
— Rick Merritt, Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, EE Times