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The 10th Brooklyn Summit focuses on creating the foundation for 6G

The Brooklyn Bridge at sunset

For the 10th time, Nokia brought together some of the most creative minds in the business for one of the most distinguished gatherings of the communications industry.

This year’s Brooklyn 6G Summit, hosted by Nokia and the NYU Wireless research center, included a series of keynote addresses, lively panels and physical demonstrations showcasing this year’s theme of “Creating the Foundation for 6G.”

Together, they highlighted the key technologies that will define the next era of advanced wireless communications. Key takeaways included the centrality of artificial intelligence and the network itself in the 6G era and the need for a global 6G standard. Participants delved deeply into all matters of technology enablers of the Metaverse: cloud computing, Al/ML, private 5G/6G networks, security, device capability, split rendering and edge. New spectrum was also agreed upon as a key for 6G success.

In his keynote address, Nokia Bell Labs President for Core Research Peter Vetter outlined a technology strategy where AI, cloud and connectivity would reshape technology and the world.

“6G will transform what a network can do, while building on existing technologies,” he said. “Sustainability is at the core of our design requirement. We need to support an order of magnitude higher capacity.”

AT&T Executive Vice President Chris Sambar echoed the sentiment about AI, calling its integration the most groundbreaking advancement of the 6G era.

“I think it can bring a lot of good not only to customers in their day-to-day use cases and lives but to society as a whole,” he said.

Samber added that 5G still had a plenty of runway left and there was a need to find use cases that made 6G possible. He said network was the killer app and he advocated 1.5 GHz of full power licensed midband going forward.

"The most likely use cases in the consumer world are extended reality, the Metaverse," he said. “We can generally understand what the costumers want to get out of the technology, but we have to understand from a network operator standpoint how we are going to monetize those use cases.”

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The Brooklyn gathering has traditionally served as a harbinger for communication technologies, applications and services. What began was a conference focused on 5G technology was now, in its 10th iteration, firmly focused on the 6G era and how it will fuse the digital, physical and human worlds, redefining how we live, work and take care of our planet.

Some 300 participants, including 55 speakers and panelists, attended the two-day event at the New York University (NYU) Brooklyn campus, providing an eclectic gathering of academia, industry analysts, service providers, equipment vendors and startups from various corners of the telecom industry.

The agenda comprised a mixture of keynotes and panel discussions on wide-ranging 6G topics including the Metaverse, the regulatory landscape, Responsible AI and Cloud Native Architecture. Keynotes were delivered by major operators from the United States, South Korea and India.

More than 25 demonstrations on various aspects of 5G and 6G included those on Native AI, Low Latency Low Loss Scalable Throughput (L4S), Reflecting Intelligent Surface (RIS) and Natural Language Networking

The various talks and demonstrations drew a wide swath of customers, partners, engineers and innovators, including representatives from AT&T, Qualcomm, Verizon, T-Mobile, Microsoft, NTT DOCOMO and more.

The newly formed “Dean’s Panel” discussed the need for greater cooperation between academia and industry so that innovations in academia make their way into the industry.

“I think it’s critical to bring together people from academia and industry,” said Andrea Goldsmith, Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton. “Researchers having those deep conversations helps inspire them to look at new problems, helps to inform the research that they are doing and helps them to go back to their universities and excite the students.”

One of the key takeaways from the “ICT technology globalization” panel was a consensus for the unified, single 6G standard since global fragmentation would not be beneficial for the industry. Peter Merz, Head of Nokia Standards, echoed it at the end of event “I think without standards, we would not have interoperability, we would not meet regulatory requirements, and we would not bring scale effects to the market.”

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On the regulatory front, Michael Ha, the FCC chief of Policy and Rules Division, spoke about proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the 12.7-13.25 GHz band where they are proposing to repurpose 5.25GHz of spectrum for mobile broadband. He noted that the fastest growing use case is Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) that delivers broadband to homes and businesses.

While every G has a cadence of 10 years, the relevant services have undergone a major transformation every 20 years. The first service evolution saw the birth of the mobile communication era and it encompassed 1G and 2G. The second evolution was all about mobile internet and multimedia (3G/4G) and the third evolution will focus on diverse immersive services and vertical expansion (5G/6G).

Going forward, one can expect less of a 10-year cadence and more of the use cases themselves defining the “next G.”

The broad scope of panel and demonstrations prompted Microwave Journal to conclude that “The Brooklyn 6G Summit is the best networking event in the industry and also the place to explore advanced communications technology.”

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Amitava Ghosh

About Amitava Ghosh

Amitabha (Amitava) Ghosh (F’15) is a Nokia Fellow and works at Nokia Standards and Strategy. He joined Motorola in 1990 after receiving his Ph.D in Electrical Engineering from Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Since joining Motorola he worked on multiple wireless technologies starting from IS-95, cdma-2000, 1xEV-DV/1XTREME, 1xEV-DO, UMTS, HSPA, 802.16e/WiMAX and 3GPP LTE. He has 60 issued patents, has written multiple book chapters and has authored numerous external and internal technical papers. He is currently working on 5G Evolution and 6G technologies. He is also the chair of the NextGA (an US 6G initiative) National Roadmap Working Group. His research interests are in the area of digital communications, signal processing and wireless communications. He is the recipient of 2016 IEEE Stephen O. Rice and 2017 Neal Shephard prize, member of IEEE Access editorial board and co-author of the books titled “Essentials of LTE and LTE-A” and “5G Enabled Industrial IoT Network”.

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