Nokia takes lead in Europe’s Phase 2 6G initiative

Nokia will lead the Hexa-X-II project, the second phase of the European 6G flagship initiative designed to lay the groundwork for 6G standardization.

Nokia also led the first phase of the Hexa-X project.

According to Nokia, Hexa-X focused on a common European 6G vision and possible use cases and technology enablers while Hexa-X-II will create a pre-standardized platform and overall system view.

The Finnish vendor will lead 44 organizations in the effort.

Ericsson will take the role as technical manager for Hexa-X-II. Orange, Telecom Italia, TU Dresden, the University of Oulu, IMEC and Atos will help coordinate various work packages.

The European Commission awarded funding for the Hexa-X-II project as part of what’s called the Smart Network and Services Joint Undertaking (SNS-JU), Nokia said via a press release, noting that it’s the next significant step toward bringing together key industry stakeholders in Europe.

The goal of both Hexa-X and Hexa-X-II is to establish Europe as a leader in 6G, similar to what Deutsche Telekom is doing in Germany with the 6G-TakeOff research project, a program funded by the German government.

“Nokia is honored to lead in this pioneering project. In the 6G era, the digital, physical and human worlds will become far more integrated,” said Peter Vetter, president of Nokia’s Bell Labs Core Research, in a statement.

“Our goals must reflect this level of integration and inter-dependency. As billions more people and devices get connected, urbanization intensifies, and we strive to manage the limitations on energy and materials, the role of networks and 6G will only deepen. It is essential that we keep the larger context in mind as we imagine the new network,” he added.

The missive of the Hexa-X-II consortium, according to Nokia, is to overcome these societal challenges:

  • Sustainability: Hexa-X-II will research technologies that contribute to a zero-carbon footprint and limit energy and material consumption.
  • Inclusion: Hexa-X-II aims to provide connectivity to people in developing countries as well as to the under-privileged members of developed societies.
  • Trustworthiness: Hexa-X-II is designed to ensure data transparency, security and privacy and network robustness.

The Hexa-X-II project is scheduled to start work in January 2023, with a planned duration of two and a half years.