Ericsson to invest $11.9M in U.K.-based 6G research program

Ericsson is investing $11.9 million over the next 10 years in a U.K.-based 6G research program. The program will involve academics, service providers and members of the vendor community and will focus on 6G research areas involving network resiliency, security, artificial intelligence, cognitive networks and energy efficiency.

Ericsson said it will hire 20 dedicated researchers as well as support Ph.D. students that will lead the various 6G research projects.

Not surprisingly, U.K. government officials praised Ericsson for establishing this program. The U.K.’s Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Michelle Donelan said that Ericsson’s investment is a “huge vote of confidence in the U.K’s innovative telecoms sector.”

Typically, each new “G” technology cycle is introduced every 10 years and most experts agree that 6G will arrive sometime around 2030. But what functions 6G will deliver that 5G doesn’t provide is still being determined, which is why many vendors and academic institutions are forming research groups dedicated to developing 6G.

Ericsson devotes millions to research and development every year and has 21 R&D centers across Europe. These research centers are involved in more than 100 research collaborations with academic institutions.

Besides this latest investment in the U.K. market, Ericsson is also involved in Hexa-X, a European 6G research project specifically looking at potential 6G use cases.

In North America, Ericsson is a member of ATIS’ Next G Alliance, which is working to advance North American wireless technology leadership in 6G. In addition, earlier this year Ericsson announced it is collaborating with the University of Texas at Austin to conduct research on 6G-powered extended reality.