Europe invests in higher speed networks

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The European Commission has promised to invest 18 million (15.6 million) into research of high speed 4G networks for mobile internet.

The research will be centred around Advanced Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology which could enable mobile internet speeds of up to 1Gbps.

Viviane Reding, EU telecoms commissioner, said in a statement: "Europe's research know-how will continue to set the tone for the development of mobile services and devices around the globe, just as we did in the past decades with the GSM standard."

Trials of standard LTE are already happening across Europe in countries such as Finland, Germany, Spain and here in the UK. These trials have provided up to 100Mbps, which the European Commission claimed was ten times faster than current 3G networks. However, 4G Advanced LTE could lead to speed ten times faster again.

Reding continued: "LTE technologies will turn mobile phones into powerful mobile computers. Millions of new users will get ultra high-speed internet access on their portable devices, wherever they are."

The funding is earmarked for release on 1 January 2010 and will be part of the 700 million the EU has dedicated to investing on future networks between 2007 and 2013.

Operators and manufacturers, such as Orange, T-Mobile and Nokia, have supported the investment and are expected to spend 6 billion on LTE equipment themselves by 2013.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.