Within Mobile VCE, a team of several leading U.K. universities, in close association with major manufacturers and international telecom operators from the mobile industry, have been addressing the challenging task of designing transceiver structures for beyond 3G networks. Innovative approaches led to a plethora of crosslayer optimized technologies of low complexity and high robustness, allowing for the much promised multimedia-centric services over future wireless networks. This article presents a comprehensive overview of the research conducted within Mobile VCE's Core Wireless Access Research Programme,1 a key focus of which has naturally been on MIMO transceivers. The series of articles offers a coherent view of how the work was structured and comprises a compilation of material that has been presented in detail elsewhere (see references within the article). In this article, the first of four, MIMO channel measurements, analysis, and modeling are presented, which were then utilized to develop compact and distributed antenna arrays. Parallel activities led to research into low-complexity MIMO single-user space-time coding techniques, as well as SISO and MIMO multi-user CDMA-based transceivers for B3G systems. As well as feeding into the industry's in-house research program, significant extensions of this work are now in hand, within Mobile VCE's own core activity, aimed at securing major improvements in delivery efficiency in future wireless systems through cross-layer operation.