In September, the Commission will start to negotiate the details on how the money will be doled out, and projects funded with the money are expected to start in January 2010, according to a statement. LTE Advanced will eventually replace the first generation LTE networks that are just starting to get built out. The goal is to offer download capacities of up to 1Gbps. The first generation of LTE will offer speeds at up to 100Mbps depending on traffic loads.
This announcement by the European Commission will be seen as them effectively endorsing LTE. "With LTE technologies, 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," said Viviane Reding, the EU's Commissioner for Telecoms and Media.
By 2013, operators worldwide are expected to invest nearly €6bn in LTE equipment, according to market analysts. The EU has been working with ETSI for some time now to promote research into next generation mobile technologies and to fund some of the projects too. This announcement just shows that they are focusing their energy on LTE to make it the next GSM technology.