How Telekom is driving 6G NeXt research consortium

6G Communications

Deutsche Telekom is taking the lead for 6G NeXt. The research project is part of the “6G industry projects for research into integrated systems and sub-technologies for 6th generation mobile communications” program, which is funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

The “6G NeXt” (Native Extensions for XR Technologies) project, which involves nine partners from industry and science, had its kick-off last week in Berlin. Besides Deutsche Telekom AG, the partners and associated partners are DFKI, Fraunhofer FOKUS, LogicWay GmbH, SeeReal Technologies GmbH, TH Wildau, TU Berlin, TU Ilmenau, Volucap GmbH, Flugplatzgesellschaft Schönhagen mbH as well as IDRF e.V.

Future XR applications and services will generate huge amounts of data that needs to be transmitted with high speed and reliability. One of the core tasks of the project is to develop a high-speed software layer with native AI network optimization for real-time data processing and enabling a dynamic distribution of complex computing tasks to the optimal location (split computing).

Anti-collision system and holographic 3D communication

The 6G NeXt project will develop a scalable, modular, and flexible end to end infrastructure, which will be implemented at different locations as a test bed platform for research on the complex XR applications. Two particularly challenging use cases from innovative and forward-looking industries in Germany will be implemented on the new system architecture:

A novel anti-collision system for aviation using the example of drones at airports with mixed air traffic. This application requires low latency, synchronization of data streams and the ability to compute data in a distributed manner (split computing).

An interactive end-to-end transmission of real-time 3D holographic video with photorealistic content and realistic 3D depth for video conferencing and monitoring. This application requires high bit rates upstream and downstream as well as distributed and intelligent video processing.

The applications investigated have real-time processing and high data rate requirements that exceed capabilities of today’s 5G networks. The project partners will conduct research using the developed applications to understand requirements for future 6G networks and will provide contributions towards standardization.

“6G NeXt is focused on developing a foundational infrastructure where we can test and validate advanced immersive XR experiences even in the most demanding use cases,” says Alex Jinsung Choi, Head of T-Labs at Deutsche Telekom. “We are excited to collaborate with leading German startups and SMEs who will contribute their ideas and requirements for this innovative technology direction.”

Last year, the BMBF launched the funding measure “6G industrial projects for research into holistic systems and sub-technologies for 6th generation mobile communications” as part of the German 6G research initiative.

The 6G initiative is an essential part of the research program on communication systems “Sovereign. Digital. Connected.” In addition to the 6G industry projects, the 6G Initiative includes the four 6G Research Hubs, consisting of research associations of outstanding research institutes and universities, as well as the umbrella project “6G Platform.” Further projects on the resilience of digital systems are being planned.

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. This key technology will also secure the future competitiveness of Germany and Europe. The associated projects will initially run until fall 2025 and will be used to research the new 6G communications standard, which has yet to be defined.

Standardization by the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) organization is also expected to begin in 2025. First 6G networks are expected to launch in 2030.