Like any other field of science and technology, mobile telecommunications require thorough and perpetual research to succeed. Research is the backbone of the telecommunications world and a critical enabler for future achievements.

Today's research in telecommunications primarily falls into the category of applied research. Applied research is business driven, focusing on solving practical problems for gaining profits in short to midterm stages. Basic research, on the other hand, is conducted without boundaries and without business justifications and focuses on long term results. The research is forward looking, drives innovation, enables socio-economic prosperity, and helps to move from one generation of technology to the next.

There are no hard-coded steps as such, but research normally includes technological development. In more tangible terms, the R&D from academia goes into industrial research labs and from there to standard development organizations. The standardization process is executed, within certain boundaries, considering economical and deployment constraints and interoperability challenges. Standardization is followed by product development and then network deployment/operations.

The focus of this chapter is on research and technology development (R&D), which is the fundamental block for making continuous and substantial progress in telecommunications.