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Ericsson turns to India for help with 6G R&D

Swedish kit vendor Ericsson has partnered with the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur to research edge and AI with an eye on the 6G standard.

Scott Bicheno

February 5, 2024

2 Min Read

At this stage in the cycle 6G is still just taking shape. But, given the chastening experience of 5G, which so far has offered little to the end user and consequently disappointing returns on investment, the pressure is already on to make 6G a bit more revolutionary. Ericsson and IIT Kharagpur seem to think distributed computing and, of course, AI, will be key pieces of this puzzle. Right now, however, it’s hard to see how a mobile edge made a bit better by AI will set the world on fire.

“6G networks integrated with artificial intelligence will enable AI-powered applications to run faster and more efficiently,” said Virendra Kumar Tewari, Director of IIT Kharagpur. “In the 6G era, IIT Kharagpur aims to contribute to Radio Access Technology and Network, Core Network, RF & Device Technologies, VLSI Design, Neuromorphic Signal Processing, Services and Applications.

“The institute also looks forward to participate in Telecommunications Standardization Process, Developing Test Beds, Prototype Development and Commercialization along with training and manpower development. This collaborative research partnership in fundamental areas as well as translational research will be transformational for our Future Network Platforms.”

“Ericsson is well poised to lead 6G innovation and we are making significant R&D investments in India in line with our commitment to the country,” said Nitin Bansal, Managing Director of Ericsson India. “Given our 5G and technology leadership, our research initiatives are geared to provide affordable network platforms for ubiquitous connectivity all across the country”.

“This collaboration strengthens our R&D commitments in India and is pivotal to Radio, Compute and AI research,” said Magnus Frodigh, Head of Ericsson Research. “We are excited to partner with IIT Kharagpur and look forward to collaborative research in fundamental areas as well as translational research for our Future Network Platforms.”

Ericsson’s vision for 6G revolves around using connected sensors and digital twins to blend the physical and digital worlds. This will apparently improve everyone’s quality of life in ways that have yet to be fleshed out. One image conjured by that vision is of the analogue world being completely duplicated in the form of some sort of super-metaverse and people being empowered to combine the two as they see fit. That certainly would be revolutionary.

Telecoms T&D specialist Interdigital recently shared its vision for 6G, which highlighted the potential for cellular networks to sense everything around them, even unconnected objects. This level of network omniscience obviously opens the door to all kinds of new applications but would requite an order of magnitude more supporting infrastructure than we currently have. So maybe that’s what this partnership is all about but we suspect they have a lot of work to do to convince the world’s operators that 6G will justify the start of another major capex cycle.

You can hear us talk about 6G on this week’s Telecoms.com Podcast.

About the Author(s)

Scott Bicheno

As the Editorial Director of Telecoms.com, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Telecoms.com Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Telecoms.com Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno

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