EuCNC & 6G Summit 2023: A Confluence of Minds, Shaping the Wireless Ecosystem of Tomorrow

The EuCNC & 6G Summit of 2023, jointly organised by 6G Flagship and Chalmers, was an electrifying gathering of the brightest minds in the industry. The event, a hotbed of innovation, attracted a diverse crowd of pioneers, tech enthusiasts, and industry leaders. The stage was set by Technical Programme Chair Professor Tommy Svensson of Chalmers University, and the atmosphere was charged with anticipation for the groundbreaking discussions to follow.

The city of Gothenburg, as described by Håkan Eriksson, First Deputy Lord Mayor, served as the perfect backdrop for this assembly of innovators. The city, known for its commitment to innovation and sustainability, mirrored the event’s focus on developing communication technologies that are not only advanced but also sustainable.

Distinguished speakers, including 6G Flagship’s Professors Matti Latva-aho, Ari Pouttu, Aarno Pärssinen, and Marja Matinmikko-Blue, Director of Sustainability and Regulation, contributed significantly to the event, providing a comprehensive perspective on the future of 6G.

Spotlight on 6G’s Revolutionary Potential

The event dove headfirst into the heart of the matter. Magnus Frodigh, VP and Head of Research at Ericsson, delivered a riveting exposé on the confluence of connectivity and computing networks. His presentation clarified that 6G would be the linchpin in realising digital environments with real-time, low-latency applications. One could practically hear the gears turning in the audience’s minds.

Five luminaries delivered spellbinding keynotes at the EuCNC & 6G Summit 2023: Magnus Frodigh of Ericsson envisaged a cyber-physical world through 6G; Ted Rappaport from NYU propelled the audience into the possibilities of the 6G era; Peter Vetter from Nokia together with Takehiro Nakamura from NTT DOCOMO, Inc., emphasised the critical gear shifts required for 6G; Andrea Conti highlighted the intriguing concept of Localization-of-Things in the 6G landscape; and Wen Tong of Huawei synthesised the convergence pathways that 6G will carve out, heralding a new age of interconnectedness.

However, the event was not just a tour of the boundless possibilities; it was a pragmatic examination of the road ahead. Erik Slottner, Sweden’s Minister for Public Administration, articulated a clarion vision: 6G research and innovation as the very catalysts for bridging the digital divide and fostering democratic technological leadership. “Likeminded countries need to actively and jointly prioritise 6G research and provide the tools needed for innovation. That will be the key to democratic technological leadership,” he deftly highlighted, emphasising the importance of unity and strategic collaboration in this audacious venture.

The Intersection of 6G and Sustainability

One topic that emerged as a leitmotif through the symposium was sustainability. Panellists donned their thinking caps to tackle the Gordian knot of 6G’s environmental impact. The discourse was crystal clear – 6G needs to be as smart as it is sustainable.

But what about the challenges? From life-cycle assessments to carbon emissions, the discussions were an intricate dance around the hurdles and solutions that must be navigated in the 6G journey.

AI, as we expected, took centre stage in several discussions. What is to be noted, however, is how AI is not perceived just as a nifty sidekick but as the very soul of automation and security in the nascent 6G landscape.

Interoperability, Public Acceptance, and Customization: The Triad of 6G Success

Interoperability was a recurring theme at the event. Experts emphasised the need for a harmonious blend of diverse technologies to shape the 6G ecosystem. The vision is to create a unified framework integrating mobile, satellite, and optical networks, enabling unparalleled connectivity and fostering innovation. The goal is not just to surpass the capabilities of 5G but to create a cohesive system that can support a wide range of futuristic applications.

However, technological advancements alone won’t cut it. Public acceptance was a topic that also received attention. The experts acknowledged that while technological advances are crucial, ensuring the trust and acceptance of the general public is equally vital. As 6G technology continues to evolve, stakeholders must proactively address concerns surrounding privacy, security, and ethical considerations to foster a supportive environment and widespread adoption for its implementation. 

Each sector has unique needs and use cases. Their requirements vary. This is why a one-size-fits-all approach is unlikely to suffice. By tailoring 6G to specific industries such as healthcare, transportation, or manufacturing, the technology can unlock unprecedented opportunities for growth and efficiency. Customisation will enable the seamless integration of 6G into existing infrastructures and empower industries to fully leverage its transformative potential.

The journey towards 6G technology is a complex one. Addressing the challenges head-on and fostering collaboration between various stakeholders makes the path to a successful digital future more straightforward. 

As the summit drew to a close, one thing was abundantly clear: the cross-pollination of ideas that unfolded during these intense days painted not just a picture of what’s on the horizon but of what is possible if the industry thinks big, acts pragmatically, and dares to venture into uncharted waters.

To those in the hallways of academia, the hallowed corridors of policymaking, and the bustling laboratories of innovation – EuCNC & 6G Summit 2023 wasn’t just an event. It was a watershed moment that underscored the need for sustained innovation, collaboration, and above all, a relentless pursuit of excellence. This is your clarion call – dare to shape a future as extraordinary as the minds that inhabit it.

With these words, we welcome you to an even more exciting EuCNC & 6G Summit 2024 in Antwerp, Belgium, to be organised as a joint exercise between 6G Flagship and imec with the University of Ghent and the University of Antwerp.

See the the full EuCNC & 6G Summit 2023 playlist on YouTube.