The primary objective of the E3Network project, also known as Future Internet, and led by researchers from the CEIT-IK4 research centre, is to design a transceiver that allows data transmission at a speed of 10Gbps (Gigabits per second) via a new infrastructure network in EU member countries.
According to the project's director Igone Vélez, "we're studying a way for everybody to be able to connect to the Internet no matter where they are and at a very high speed." The researcher from the Electronics and Communications area at CEIT-IK4 highlighted the fact that the new system will mean "a new dimension in telecommunications, one which allows mobile phones to be used in much more social ways, including in rural areas."
The arrival of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets has meant that users are demanding that network operators provide the same kind of Internet connection that they enjoy at home or at the office. The problem, however, is that current network infrastructure and business models are not able to support such an increase in demand. In fact, only 1-2% of European citizens are connected to high-speed Internet via fibre optic networks (as compared to 12% in Japan and 15% in South Korea), limiting the benefits of the technology.
The European Commission has flagged high-speed broadband as a crucial infrastructure for 2020 given its potential to provide Europeans with a better quality of life in areas like health care, finding new solutions for safety and efficiency in air and ground transportation, and making advances in environmental conservation, in addition to improving access to public services and increasing the productivity and competitiveness of Europe in global markets. The EU's Digital Agenda considers it essential that all Europeans have 30Mbps (Megabits per second) broadband by 2020.