What is the Grand Vision for European Network Research?

I just attended the Thursday plenary panel session of the Future Network and Mobile Summit where the topic was “Do we still need Research on Networking in Europe?”.

The panel consisted of representative from major European equipment vendors, (Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Siemens Network and Ericsson), Interoute, a large connectivity infrastructure provider and Next Generation Mobile Network (NGMN), an alliance of major mobile operators worldwide.

The message was slightly different from vendors than from operators but the consensus after the discussion is that research in network in required.  There are still major immediate issues experimented by the operators that need to be solved. What came out also as consensus is that the current research programs needs to be more focused.  There is a fragmentation in the research effort. Researchers need to solve holistic problems and work smarter to increase the efficiency of the research.  They also need to perform better in advocating the results of their work.

Europe needs to find a grand vision to steer the direction of the research like the Americans needed that grand vision to go to the moon. Based on that grand Vision, European stakeholders could synergies their effort from research up to the productification.

Applications and services relying on an elastic network, that can adapt both computing, storage and connectivity resources to the varying demand, retrieving information where ever it is, by addressing the information objects directly rather than addressing nodes,
delivering those objects the most efficient way, with the support of multi-path, multi-homing, multi-technology, multicast in fixed or wireless networks - is that a grand enough vision?

Let’s SAIL to the moon!

Disclosure and disclaimer: I am engaged in the SAIL project, on behalf of Ericsson. However the opinions expressed in this post are my personal, and not those of the SAIL project or my employer.

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