European Vision for the 6G Network Ecosystem

The 5G Public Private Partnership (5G PPP) is the 5G collaborative research program that is organized as part of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program – The European Union Program for Research and Innovation. It is aimed at fostering industry-driven research, monitored by business-related, technological performance and societal KPIs. The 5G PPP will deliver solutions, architectures, technologies and standards for ubiquitous next-generation communication infrastructure over the coming decade.

Within the 5G PPP, the 5G Infrastructure Association (5G IA) represents the private side and the European Commission the public side. The 5G IA is committed to the advancement of 5G in Europe and to building global consensus on 5G. To this aim, the Association brings together a global industry community of telecoms & digital actors, such as operators, manufacturers, research institutes, universities, verticals, SMEs and ICT associations. The 5G IA carries out a wide range of activities in strategic areas including standardization, frequency spectrum, R&D projects, technology skills, collaboration with key vertical industry sectors, notably for the development of trials, and international cooperation.

In the context of Horizon Europe, the 5G IA, together with other leading ICT organisations, submitted a proposal for an Institutionalised Partnership, called Smart Networks and Services (SNS). Upon successful completion of the legislative process, the 5G IA will be the signing counterpart of the Partnership with the EU in this strategic technology domain for Europe for which a total of 900 Meuro have been earmarked for the 2021-2027 period for 6G and Smart Networks related research activities. 

Last week, the 5G IA published a white paper titled ‘European Vision for the 6G Network Ecosystem’. It is edited by the “Vision and Societal Challenges Work Group”. A press release said:

This White Paper is a major milestone at a time when the 5G IA is preparing for the next chapter in the mobile communications story with the new ‘Smart Networks and Services’ (SNS) European Partnership in the framework of the Horizon Europe programme.

The SNS Partnership will contribute to enable the digital and green transitions and will allow European players to develop the technology capacities for 6G systems as the basis for future digital services.

Within the SNS, the 5G IA will be the private side representative, jointly managing the Partnership with the EU.

The White Paper covers key areas related to 6G research from a technical, societal, policy and business perspective providing a vision for the future networks and services.

In the coming decade, 6G will bring a new era in which billions of things, humans, connected vehicles, robots and drones will generate zettabytes of digital information. 6G will enable unprecedented connectivity modes and properties that can effectively match the needs of a growing and broader range of demanding applications.

The White Paper explains how 6G is expected to play a key role in the evolution of the society towards the 2030’s, as the convergence between the digital, physical and personal worlds will increasingly become a reality. Furthermore, 6G will support the European Green Deal’s objective of reaching climate neutrality for Europe by 2050. This and other objectives of 6G will also greatly contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Some grand visions for 6G laid out in the whitepaper, but as always, it would be difficult to convince everyone.

Last year at the ETSI Virtual Event on Boosting the Impact of Research & Innovation through Standardization by Telecom TV, Dr. Colin Willcock, 5G IA Board Chairman, discussed Future 6G research in Europe and The role of the 5G IA. His talk is embedded below:

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