4G was yesterday, 5G is today, 6G is tomorrow: it’s all about mobile communications standards, which have become interesting for German and European private users and vital for business and industry in the face of global competition. “5G, with its fast data transfer rates that make real-time applications possible, is currently being rolled out – but 6G is a step towards three-dimensionality. In the future, the mobile network will also be provided by satellites, drones, balloons, and other flying objects,” says Professor Armin Dekorsy, head of the working group for communications engineering in the Faculty of Physics/Electrical Engineering at the University of Bremen.
6G: Central Nervous System of Our Connected Life
6G will once again revolutionize the high-performance mobile data technology of the future and our communication in the coming decade. “This cellular technology is expected to become the central nervous system of our connected life by 2030,” says Dekorsy. “It’s about providing connectivity for everyone – no matter who uses it, no matter where you are.” “The failure of communication – such as the flood in the Ahr Valley – will then no longer occur. The three-dimensional wireless network ensures constant connectivity.”
In addition, according to the telecommunications engineer, the future 6G network will be much more resilient than 5G. But that’s not all: “6G will also be noticeably more sustainable, as 6 G will require significantly less power to transmit a certain amount of data, for example.”
Because the development of the “data highway of the future” is an extremely important location factor for Germany, extensive funding is being provided: “The BMBF’s 6G initiative is currently the largest program in Europe,” says Armin Dekorsy. The University of Bremen benefits from this because the working group for communications engineering is one of Germany’s leading research groups. In recent years, it has raised several million euros for various 5G projects. The University of Bremen’s expertise in the field of 6G is complemented by the Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM) and the Institute for Theoretical Electrical Engineering and Microelectronics (ITEM).
Numerous Jobs Secured for Young Researchers
The working group on communications engineering has recently received new funding from the BMBF for research into the area of 6G. This funding amounts to almost 1.5 million euros and secures numerous positions for young researchers for years to come. The projects in detail:
6G Platform Project: This is a strategic umbrella organization for all the projects funded under the 6G program which is in charge of coordinating, aligning, and consolidating the future communication technologies researched there. Under the leadership of the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, the University of Bremen is one of seven other partners in the project with a total budget of 10.55 million euros. “In terms of content, the aim is to define and implement the complex standardization and security requirements for core components and critical systems for future communication networks,” explained Professor Dekorsy. “It’s easy to imagine that there are an incredible number of technological components and interfaces that have to work together flawlessly. Coordinated in-house development and a broad knowledge of the components to be used are the first important prerequisites for digital and technological sovereignty. But in order to act confidently, it is above all important that Germany and Europe not only use technologies, but also play a decisive role in shaping technology development!” It is vital that Germany plays a strong role in order to be at the forefront of international research, which is already under way.
6G-TakeOff Project: With a volume of more than 13 million euros, this project is about the comprehensive construction of a three-dimensional communication network for 6G, which has already been outlined. A total of 18 partners from both research and industry are brought together here to plan and implement 6G under the coordination of Deutsche Telekom AG. “In order to provide the necessary connectivity, we need seamless network coverage. To achieve this, the existing mobile networks on the ground must be supplemented with additional network nodes in the air,” says Dr. Dirk Wübben, leader of the working group for communications engineering and subproject leader of 6G-TakeOff. From high altitudes, for example, flight platforms and/or satellites can close supply gaps and thus create the necessary communication possibilities. “This, in turn, would open up completely new opportunities in digitalized agriculture, logistics, shipping, and the environmental sciences.”
Unlike location-based network nodes on earth, network nodes in flying platforms are flexible in terms of location and time. “The temporary provision of additional network capacity at large events is thus just as possible as short-term cellular phone coverage in the event of a disaster, especially if – as in the Ahr Valley – the regular earth-based infrastructure fails,” says Dirk Wübben. “For optimal connectivity, it is therefore desirable to combine both concepts – namely, terrestrial and nonterrestrial networks – in a single architecture. By 2025, we want to have put the necessary architecture in place for this project so that we can then ‘build’ the three-dimensional communication network for 6G.”
Professor Armin Dekorsy
University of Bremen
Working Group for Communications Engineering
Faculty of Physics/Electrical Engineering
Tel.: +49 421 218-62400
Email: dekorsyprotect me ?!ant.uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de