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Deutsche Telekom gets involved in 6G research initiative

The 6G research project is part of a wider 6G program funded by the German government

German telco Deutsche Telekom announced that it is taking the lead for the “6G-TakeOff” research project as part of a 6G program funded by the German government.

The “6G industrial projects for research into integrated systems and sub-technologies for 6th generation mobile communications” program is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Together with a total of 22 partners, Deutsche Telekom is forming a consortium with the aim of developing a uniform 6G architecture for future communications networks comprising ground stations, flying infrastructure platforms and satellites.

The German carrier explained that base stations on board satellites and flying platforms can help close the remaining coverage gaps of ground-based base stations as they offer the possibility to provide additional network capacity temporarily and locally as needed. Deutsche Telekom also said that the “6G-TakeOff” will develop a 3D architecture for mobile networks in which terrestrial and non-terrestrial base stations are considered and used in a uniform manner.

6G-TakeOff will cooperate with European institutions and research projects to help shape future 6G standards. Deutsche Telekom will also be involved in the national ‘6G- Platform’ and ensure scientific exchange with other 6G research projects.

“Collaborative early research is critical to prepare the ground for the 6th generation of communications technology,” said Alex Jinsung Choi, head of T-Labs at Deutsche Telekom.  “We are honored to lead the 6G-TakeOff project and work together with partners from across industry, academia and science to research and validate key architectural concepts that will shape the future 6G landscape.”

The aim of the measures of the BMBF’s 6G initiative is to strengthen the digital and technological sovereignty of Germany and Europe by developing and helping to shape 6G at an early stage. The project will run until summer 2025 and will be used to research the new 6G communications standard, which has yet to be defined. Standardization by the 3GPP organization is also expected to begin in 2025. The first 6G networks are expected to be launched from 2030.

In July, Nokia said it will lead 6G-ANNA, a German national-funded 6G lighthouse project.

The European vendor noted that the funding for 6G-ANNA will come from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research with an aim of strengthening German and European 6G agendas and driving global pre-standardization activities from a German and European perspective. 6G-ANNA is part of the larger “6G Platform German” national initiative.

As part of the initiative, Nokia will work closely with the consortium, which includes partners from industry, startups, research institutes and universities in Germany.

Within 6G-ANNA, Nokia will focus on designing an end-to-end 6G architecture and work with other project partners on three key technology areas: 6G access, network of networks and automation and simplification. Selected topics such as sub-networks, XR and real-time digital twinning will be implemented and presented as proof of concepts.