Ericsson to open multi-million-pound UK research centre for 6G tech

Ericsson has announced plans to build a multi-million-pound research centre in the UK that will focus on developing future 6G networks.

The Swedish telecommunications firm said it would invest “tens of millions of pounds” over the next decade in the new centre.

The programme will employ 20 dedicated researchers with additional support for PhD students who will focus on research areas including network resilience and security, artificial intelligence, cognitive networks and energy efficiency.

With 5G still in its relative infancy, 6G networks are not expected to be commercially deployed until 2030 at the earliest. Only around 50 per cent of the UK population currently has access to 5G where they live, with landmass coverage lower than 12 per cent.

While finalisation of the standard is still some way off, researchers demonstrated possible 6G technologies last year with the transfer of an uncompressed, 8K ultra-high- definition video stream with a data rate of 48Gbit/s over 300GHz terahertz waves.

6G is expected to build on 5G’s features by broadening consumer and industry use-cases such as multi-sensory extended reality, precision healthcare, smart agriculture, robots, and intelligent autonomous systems.

Michelle Donelan, secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, said: “Ericsson’s investment is a huge vote of confidence in the UK’s innovative telecoms sector.

“This pioneering research unit will create new jobs, support students and bring together some of our country’s finest minds to shape the future of telecoms infrastructure in the UK and across the globe.

“Our mission is to lead the world in developing next-generation network tech, and we will soon publish a strategy outlining how we harness 6G to deliver more for people and business.”

Katherine Ainley, Ericsson UK & Ireland CEO, said: “Ericsson has been connecting the UK for more than 120 years and this new investment underlines our ongoing commitment to ensure the country remains a global leader in the technologies and industries of the future.

“Our vision for a more connected, safer and sustainable world is one that is shared by the UK government, and we look forward to working together with network operators, industries and academia to develop international standards that will move us ever closer to achieving seamless global connectivity and truly ground-breaking innovation.”

Last month, a study found that many Britons feel that 5G is overhyped and are not yet seeing the connectivity enhancements they anticipated.

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