Deutsche Telekom takes the lead in 6G research project, 6G R&I

  • 6G-TakeOff looks at network architecture for 6G
  • Orchestration for satellites, flying platforms and ground network
  • Intelligent network management including artificial intelligence (AI)

Deutsche Telekom is taking the lead in the “6G-TakeOff” research project as part of the program “6G industrial projects for research into integrated systems and sub-technologies for 6th generation mobile communications”. The program is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). This was announced today at the launch of the project in Darmstadt. With a total of 22 partners from research and industry, Telekom forms a consortium with the aim of developing a uniform 6G architecture for communication networks comprising ground stations, flying infrastructure platforms and satellites . By orchestrating different access technologies, the respective advantages can be utilized as needed. Optimum access to connectivity is thus ensured for each scenario.

Orchestration for satellite and ground stations

Base stations on board satellites and flying platforms can help fill the remaining coverage gaps of base stations on the ground. They provide the ability to provide additional network capacity temporarily and locally as needed. To this end, 6G-TakeOff will develop a 3D architecture for mobile networks in which terrestrial and non-terrestrial base stations are considered and used uniformly. The main topics here are the fully automated management of networks in which structures change dynamically, as well as flexibly configurable hardware platforms and antenna systems. Artificial intelligence (AI) is also used here to find optimal connections for the data streams that arise. With the help of the AI ​​used, failures should also be predicted automatically and the resilience of the communication network as a whole should be significantly improved. In addition, security aspects are studied in this project and new authentication protocols are being developed.

Satellite constellations and communication networks can only be realized on an international scale. To this end, 6G-TakeOff will cooperate with European institutions and research projects to help shape future 6G standards. As coordinator of a nationally funded project, Telekom will also be involved in the national “6G platform” and ensure scientific exchange with other 6G research projects.

“Early collaborative research is key to laying the groundwork for the 6th generation of communications technologies,” says Alex Jinsung Choi, Head of T-Labs, Deutsche Telekom. “We are honored to lead the 6G-TakeOff project and work with partners from industry, academia and science to research and validate key architectural concepts that will shape the future 6G landscape.”

About the 6G Research Initiative / 6G Fundraising Activities

Last year, the BMBF launched the funding measure “6G Industrial Projects for Research into Holistic Systems and Sub-Technologies for 6th Generation Mobile Communications” under the German 6G Research Initiative. The 6G initiative is an essential part of the new communication systems research program “Sovereign. Digital. Connected”. Besides the 6G industry projects, the 6G initiative includes the four 6G research clusters made up of research associations from outstanding research institutes and universities and the “6G Platform” umbrella project. Other projects on the resilience of digital systems are being planned. The objective of the measures of the 6G initiative of the BMBF is to strengthen the digital and technological sovereignty of Germany and Europe by developing and helping to shape 6G at an early stage. This key technology will also ensure the future competitiveness of Germany and Europe. The project will continue until the summer of 2025 and will be used to study the new 6G communication standard, which remains to be defined. Standardization by the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) organization should also begin in 2025. The first 6G networks should be launched from 2030.

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