The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has set up a working group to evolve the transmission control protocol/internet protocol (TCP/IP) that handles the vast majority of today's internet traffic.
ETSI's new industry specification group will start work on next-generation protocols that are better suited for future needs, the organisation said.
These include preparing for the emergence of wireless 5G networks that provide one gigabit per second or faster speeds, with substantially lower latencies than today's long term evolution (LTE) 4G technology.
It said sub-optimal protocol architecture "can negate the huge performance and capacity improvements planned for the radio access network".
TCP/IP, while ubiquitous in today's internet, was invented in 1973 by Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf, and needs to evolve for future networks to deliver their full potential, ETSI said.
"The TCP/IP protocol suite has undoubtedly enabled the evolution of connected computing and many other developments since its invention during the 1970s," chairman of the working group, Andy Sutton, said.
Sutton and his group aim to work out how to build on the momentum generated by TCP/IP and evolve communication systems architectures and networking protocols to provide the scale, security, mobility and ease of deployment required for the connected society of the 21st century.
The group will discuss next-generation protocol topics including security and authentication, addressing, mobility, requirements for the internet of things, video and content distribution requirements, and e-commerce, among other things.
The open working group will provide a forum for interested parties to share research and results from trials, and will seek to involve other standards bodies as well.