16 May 2012 | General, ICT
World Telecommunication and Information Society Day

17 May is celebrated worldwide as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD). Several COST Actions are making an invaluable contribution towards research in the field of ICT.

Telecommunication, Navigation and Earth Observation systems and services are developing worldwide with a multiplicity of standalone terrestrial and space systems that operate in diverse frequency bands. Global Integrated Networks (GIN) will be necessary in the near future to provide better integrated services. Their design requires a comprehensive knowledge of the various propagation media. Up to now radio channel modelling has been performed separately for each type of radio systems.  COST Action IC0802 'Propagation tools and data for integrated Telecommunication, Navigation and Earth Observation systems' has brought  together remote sensing, propagation and systems experts at the European level, thus contributing to major advances in the field, with a clear added value for Europe. 

Ever since GSM (Global Systems for Mobile Communications) extended the accessibility of mobile phones to almost every member of our society, the drive for wireless communications has been relentless. This has, however, put enormous pressure on the provision of the essential resource needed for wireless information exchange – the radio spectrum. As a result, the radio spectrum has now become a bottleneck. In recent years, one of the most significant developments in wireless technology has been the movement toward the realisation of Cognitive Radio (CR) systems. CR adds intelligence to radio components, enabling them to understand and adapt themselves to the environment they operate in. This technology would allow us to simultaneously address two contradicting requirements – a more efficient use of spectrum by existing systems, and providing better possibilities for new, innovative wireless systems to get on the air.  COST Action IC0905 'Techno-Economic Regulatory Framework for Radio Spectrum Access for Cognitive Radio/Software Defined Radio' (TERRA) aims to bring together technical and economic experts to identify viable usage scenarios and to inspire favourable regulatory conditions for CR technologies. The Action will achieve these goals through the creation of an optimised regulatory framework.

Also in the field of cognitive radio,  COST Action IC0902 'Cognitive Radio and Networking for Cooperative Coexistence of Heterogeneous Wireless Networks' integrates the cognitive concept across all layers of communication systems, contributing to define a European platform for cognitive radio and networks.

Europe is a leader in the area of mobile and wireless communications – it is thus essential to foster research which will ensure Europe's continuous competitiveness. COST Action IC1004 ‘Cooperative Radio Communication for Green Smart Environments’ addresses research issues in the field of cooperative radio communications to make our society cleaner, safer, and more energy efficient. The main goal of the Action is to increase knowledge of cooperative communications applied to Green SEs (GSEs), by exploring and developing new methods, models, techniques, strategies and tools, in a context enriched by deep industry-academia links. The training of young researchers is also one of its main objectives to be pursued.

COST Action IC1102 'Versatile, Integrated, and Signal-aware Technologies for Antennas' (VISTA) is assessing the needs for the new technologies and applications, to foster the development of radiating systems in green, smart environments, and to provide the necessary supporting technologies and to promote the career start of young researchers. This Action has just kick-started and is a follow-up of COST Action IC0603 'Antenna Systems & Sensors for Information Society Technologies' (ASSIST) - ended in 2011.

Tackling one key issue of the information society, an exciting new COST Action is looking forward to the many challenges presented by the next generation of search engines and other next generation web applications. COST Action IC1002 ‘Multilingual and multifaceted interactive information access (MUMIA)’ is concerned with the ability of future search engines to deliver results to an even wider global audience and variety of population. Its main aim is to ensure that the next generation of search applications is accessible and usable to all.

Ensuring these technologies support Europe's society while pushing the barriers of European innovation is an essential facet of COST’s work.