When 6G becomes available to large masses, Europe will be one of the first to deploy it. Recently, the European Commission announced the establishment of Hexa-X-II. This is the second phase of the European 6G flagship project plan. Not surprisingly, Nokia will be the project leader. It was the leader in the first phase, Hexa-X.
For those unaware, Hexa-X focuses on a shared vision, possible use cases, and technology enablers for 6G in Europe. In this sense, the Hexa-X-II will create a pre-standardized platform and holistic system view.
Nokia’s Role In the European Six-G Project
Nokia’s participation in the Hexa-X and Hexa-X-II projects shows that the company has revised its activity directions. Also, it shows the company’s commitment to European collaboration. We mean the firm will work with key ecosystem players to shape the future of communications. According to the official statement, the new phase will expand the list of Hexa-X partners to 44 organizations. They all will work on creating pre-standardized views of platforms and systems. As you guess, all these standards and rules will become part of future 6G standardization.
The European Commission has funded the Hexa-X-II project as part of the Smart Networks and Services Joint Project (SNS-JU) call. This is an important step in bringing together key industry stakeholders in Europe. Hexa-X and Hexa-X-II aim to make Europe a leader in 6G. Of course, Europe is mainly a technology consumer and doesn’t invest much in developing 6G. But they have begun too early, which makes us hope that Europe will play a key role.
Hexa-X-II represents the entire value chain of future connectivity solutions. Its members range from network providers and communications service providers to vertical industry and technology providers. Plus, in this project, we can find many European communications research institutes. Thus, Europe uses all its resources to bring 6G to the region earlier.
What Is Hexa-X-II?
For this, the Hexa-X-II Alliance will try to overcome the following challenges:
- Sustainability: Hexa-X-II will research technologies that help achieve a zero-carbon footprint and limit energy and material consumption.
- Inclusive: Hexa-X-II aims to connect people in developing countries and poor members of developed societies. (Doesn’t the phrase “connect people” sound familiar to you?)
- Credibility: Hexa-X-II will ensure the transparency, security, and privacy of data and the robustness of the network. (It’s still unclear how they will implement this point. Recently, many data breach cases have shown that no tech bigwig is secure.)
As part of the announcement, Ericsson has assumed the role of technical manager for Hexa-X-II. Orange, TIM SpA, University of Dresden, University of Oulu, IMEC, and Atos will help coordinate various work packages. They include radio evolution and innovation, future devices and flexible infrastructure, intelligent network management and value, as well as requirements and ecology system.
In addition to Hexa-X-II and Hexa-X, Nokia also leads the German 6G lighthouse project 6G-ANNA. Also, this company plays an important role in establishing Horizon Europe’s joint enterprise of intelligent networks and services. Thus, Nokia is very active in this field. For many, this might sound surprising. But if not Nokia and Ericsson, this role will be given to Huawei. The West doesn’t want the latter to have any participation in its infrastructures.
The Hexa-X-II project aims to start work on January 1, 2023. It ought to last two and a half years. Thus, if everything goes according to plans, 6G will reach Europe by 2025-2030 or so.