The Pan-European Laboratory for Next Generation Networks and Services, Panlab, was launched in Heidelberg on 28 June. The EU-funded research project was formed to enable laboratories across Europe to collaborate in the area of next generation telecommunications networks and services, in order to improve and accelerate infrastructure and service testing.
Panlab focuses on a collaboration network of European laboratories for testing and evaluating service concepts, technologies, system solutions and business models in the communications sector. By providing a legal and organisational framework for the cooperation of laboratories, Panlab will enable large-scale, end-to-end testing of communications solutions, thus accelerating the time-to-market of innovative technologies.
The central concept of Panlab is to develop a mechanism for forming an association of distributed, interconnected test laboratories that provide access to required platforms, networks and services for broad testing purposes. The mechanism addresses economical, legal, management and collaboration aspects of such group of independent lab entities.
The Panlab results will benefit network operators and service providers, telecom equipment manufacturers, European research projects, as well as CELTIC, a EUREKA Cluster programme focused on telecoms research."Panlab will help to make advanced network services interoperable across Europe and, thus, share the risk and accelerate the time to market," said Anastasius Gavras, the project coordinator from Eurescom. Examples of advanced technologies to be tested for interoperability include roaming aspects of IMS, the Internet Protocol Multimedia Subsystem, and the mobile TV standard DVB-H. However, Panlab is not limited to specific technologies, but will be flexible concerning the subject, scope, and scale of testing.
"We want to create synergies between the labs, in order to make European R&D more effective in bridging the gap between basic research and market-oriented development," explained Mr Gavras.
Panlab receives funding from the European Commission as a Specific Support Action (SSA) under EU Framework Programme 6 in the IST priority. It is intended to continue Panlab as a self-sustainable, independent entity beyond the duration of the project.Eleven partners from industry and academia are involved in the project, which started in June 2006 and has a duration of two years.
Project partners are Alcatel CIT (France), Dimes (Finland), Eurescom (Germany), Frauenhofer Fokus (Germany), France Telecom R&D (France), Italtel S.p.A. (Italy), Nokia Corporation (Finland), RAD Data Communications (Israel), Telefonica I+D (Spain), Thomson R&D (France), and the Synchromedia Consortium (Canada).
Panlab is open for cooperation with all interested organisations and companies, who are ready to contribute to the Panlab concept.
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