Nokia has announced that it has been selected as the project leader for Hexa-X, the European Union’s main 6G research project. 6G is probably about a decade away from commercial availability but the creation of Hexa-X is a big step towards that end.
Nokia and the rest of the Hexa-X consortium, which includes Ericsson, have identified six research challenges that need to be addressed to create the technical foundation of 6G, they include:
- Connecting intelligence: AI/Machine Learning (ML) technologies need to be a vital and trusted tool for significantly improved efficiency and service experience, serving humans
- Network of networks: multiple types of resources need to be aggregated to create a digital ecosystem that grows more and more capable, intelligent, and heterogeneous, eventually creating a single network of networks
- Sustainability: energy-optimized digital infrastructure for a reduced global ICT environmental footprint, as well as delivering effective and sustainable digitization tools for global industry, society and policymakers
- Global service coverage: efficient and affordable solutions for global service coverage, connecting remote places
- Extreme experience: extreme bitrates, extremely low (imperceptible) latencies, seemingly infinite capacity, and precision localization and sensing
- Trustworthiness: ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of communications and delivering data privacy, operational resilience and security.
The Hexa-X project was awarded funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program and has been described by Nokia as a “significant step toward bringing together key industry stakeholders in Europe to take the lead in advancing 6G.” The new project is expected to begin its work on January 1, 2021, and will run until the middle of 2023.
In addition to Hexa-X, Nokia is also involved with other European 6G research projects such as 6Genesis and Horizon Europe Smart Networks and Services. The latter project is very important for the EU as it will help the bloc get ahead with regards to the development and deployment of 6G networks.