Vision Paper on the Future of Electronic Communication Networks in Europe

Vision paper prepared in collaboration with CISCO, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Kyndryl, Mavenir, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung.

Traditional telecommunication networks are undergoing a major transformation into cloud-based, virtualised, and software-defined networks. This will enable the next generation of data-driven technologies, i.e. AI, Robotics, IoT, Web 3.0.

These technological developments will lead to significant changes in the digital ecosystem. Traditional players will need to adapt their business models in order to remain competitive, while new players will emerge from this transformation.

New technologies will require stable, reliable and resilient connectivity infrastructures, with heavy investment in 5G standalone and ubiquitous fibre. In turn, technologies such as network virtualisation, softwarisation and automation, standardised application programming interfaces (APIs), edge cloud, network slicing and open and interoperable networks, including Open RAN will enable the evolution of networks into highly programmable and disaggregated architectures.

On 21 February 2024, the European Commission published its White Paper on the future of digital infrastructure, in which it describes the transformation of the telecoms sector and the need for an ambitious industrial policy to support European leadership in advanced network technologies.

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