Ambient Networks is a large-scale collaborative project within the European Union's Sixth Framework Programme that investigates future communications systems beyond today's fixed and 3rd generation mobile networks. It is part of the Wireless World Initiative. The project works at a new concept called Ambient Networking, to provide suitable mobile networking technology for the future mobile and wireless communications environment. Ambient Networks aims to provide a unified networking concept that can adapt to the very heterogeneous environment of different radio technologies and service and network environments. Special focus is put on facilitating both competition and cooperation of various market players by defining interfaces, which allow the instant negotiation of agreements. This approach goes clearly beyond interworking of well-defined protocols and is expected to have a long-term effect on the business landscape in the Wireless World. Central to the project is the concept of composition of networks, which is an approach to address the dynamic nature of the target environment. The approach is based on an open framework for network control functionality, which can be extended with new capabilities as well as operating over existing connectivity infrastructure.
- Phase 1 of the project (2004-2005) has laid the conceptual foundations. The Deliverable D1-5 "Ambient Networks Framework Architecture" summarizes the work from phase 1 and provides links to other relevant material.
- Ambient Networks Phase 2 (2006-2007) focuses on validation aspects. One key result of phase 2 is an integrated prototype that will be used to study the feasibility of the Ambient Networks concept for a number of typical network scenarios. The ACS prototype will be used to iteratively test the components developed by the project in a real implementation. In parallel, the top-down work is being continued which will lead to a refined System Specification. This document, referred to as the System Description, is available on the Ambient Networks website. Furthermore, standardization of the composition concept is addressed in 3GPP.