Telecommunications specialist Ericsson will invest millions of pounds in 6G research in the UK, working with university and industry partners on network security, AI, and cognitive networks.
The Swedish company, which already provides 5G networks around the world, said the 10-year partnership will help develop next-generation 6G networks, which are expected to be commercially available in the 2030s.
The investment is not just a vote of confidence in the UK, which is trying to protect its scientific research funding post-Brexit. It also extends Ericsson’s cooperation with other European countries working towards the development of 6G
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The company is a member of the EU’s Project Reindeer, a consortium dealing with the advancement of wireless access infrastructure. He is the technical manager of Hexa-X, the European flagship 6G initiative, which seeks to lay the foundations for 6G technology and assess its potential benefits.
6G — i.e., the sixth generation of cellular networks — is expected to offer astonishing capabilities: speeds that exceed 1 terabit and sub-millisecond response times.
This level of connectivity will not only improve communication and interoperability, but also enable critical applications that are currently out of reach. Think things like intelligent autonomous machines, precision healthcare, smart agriculture, and multi-sensory augmented reality (“Internet of Sense”).
Ultimately, 6G technology is expected to merge the digital and physical realities, allowing for unprecedented digitization and automation that will facilitate energy efficiency and sustainability goals in the physical world.
Such new applications and technologies will give European actors strategic opportunities to develop new markets and pave the way for companies to take advantage of these technologies. For example, it could be microchips for 6G, next-generation cloud technology, quantum computing or smart city infrastructure.
With 6G’s transformative potential, it’s no surprise that, in May, Europe set out its vision for developing the technology — but it won’t be an easy undertaking. So every investment in research and development (according to Erikson) counts if the continent benefits as much as possible from it.