Swedish telecom company Ericsson has initiated an ‘India 6G’ program, inaugurating a dedicated 6G research team at its Chennai Research & Development Center. This endeavor aims to support India’s progression towards the sixth-generation network technology. The announcement came on Saturday, as Ericsson elucidated on the new team comprising senior research leaders and adept researchers specializing in Radio, Networks, AI, and Cloud technologies.
The ‘India 6G‘ team will collaborate with Ericsson’s existing research contingents in Sweden and the US, fostering collaborative efforts to advance 6G technology. The joint venture aims to herald a “cyber-physical continuum” where networks are designed to provide critical services, immersive communications, and an omnipresent Internet of Things (IoT), all while ensuring the integrity of the transmitted information.
Magnus Frodigh, Head of Research at Ericsson, expressed enthusiasm for the initiative, stating, “By establishing a dedicated 6G research team for in-country research, contextual to India’s need and collaborating with research programs across international research labs, we look forward to incorporating the needs of India into the telecommunication technology evolution.”
Ericsson’s Finnish counterpart, Nokia, has also inaugurated a 6G Lab in India. The venture aims to foster the development of sixth-generation technology and establish use cases, with experts stationed at its Bengaluru center aiming to support India’s ambition of making “contributions towards global 6G technology standards,” as per Nokia’s earlier statement.
The projects envisaged under the collaboration include Channel Modelling and Hybrid Beamforming, Low energy Networks, Cloud evolution & Sustainable compute, alongside the development of Trustworthy, Explainable, and bias-free AI algorithms. The synergy between Ericsson’s Global Research teams and the India Research team is anticipated to develop solutions in these domains.
Ericsson’s recent alliance with the Indian Institute of Technology Madras’ (IIT Madras) Centre for Responsible AI (CeRAI) signifies its resolve towards fostering Responsible AI, which is a cornerstone for the autonomous operation of future 6G networks. The 5-year partnership inked in September 2023, underscores Ericsson’s commitment to AI Research.
Nitin Bansal, Head of Ericsson India, resonated with the Bharat 6G vision statement by the Government of India, emphasizing ubiquitous connectivity, sustainable networks, and affordable communications. He acknowledged the preliminary stage of 6G but stressed the importance of early groundwork to ensure India has a presence in 6G technology.
The broader telecom industry too appears poised for evolution with Ericsson’s report projecting a global user base of 1.67 billion 5G subscriptions by the end of 2023. The report highlighted an increased engagement of 5G users in metaverse-related services, marking a shift towards more immersive digital experiences.
As Ericsson and Nokia prepare for a 6G future, their collaborative endeavors with Indian institutions underscore the role India plays in the global telecommunication technology landscape. The ‘India 6G’ initiative by Ericsson not only marks a stride towards realizing the 6G technology but also exemplifies the global-to-local approach in fostering technological advancements, aligning with the nation’s digital aspirations.