AT&T, Ericsson, Nokia, and VMware executives will lead the research group

With 5G turning into a geopolitical battlefield, it seems it is never too soon to begin work on the next generation of mobile technology.

This certainly appears to be the mindset of the industry standards group ATIS (Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions), who launched their Next G Alliance back in October last year. This industry initiative was designed to advance North American mobile technology leadership in 6G and beyond over the coming decade, encompassing the whole life-cycle of the new technology, from technical development to standardisation and market readiness.

Since its announcement, the Alliance’s membership has grown considerably, with around 45 full members including most of the major players in the region’s telecoms and tech industries, such as Google, Facebook, AT&T and T-Mobile.

Now, the Next G Alliance has announced the executives who will be leading the group, with Andre Fuetsch, Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer at AT&T named chair of the governing body, the Full Member Group (FMG), while Jan Soderstrom, Ericsson’s Head of Technology Office Silicon Valley, has been named FMG vice chair. The terms will last for two years.

In addition, three co-chairs were announced for the Next G Alliance Steering Group, with AT&T once again securing a seat via their Assistant Vice President – Standards & Industry Alliances, Brian Daly. The other co-chairs are Nokia’s Head of North American Standardisation, Devaki Chandramouli, and VMwar’se Director, Edge & AI Ecosystems, Telco Cloud Business Unit, Benoit Pelletier.

In addition to the announcement of its election results, the Next G Alliance has also began work on developing its 6G roadmap, creating a related working group responsible for researching the technology and developing related policies, enablers, and market priorities.

With the amount of data that we are using already increasing exponentially, 6G will represent a major environmental challenge, which is why the Alliance have also launched a ‘Green G’ working group, focussing on reducing energy consumption and creating a sustainable tech ecosystem for the future.

North America is not the only region showing an increasing interest in 6G. In China, China Unicom and ZTE announced they were working on 6G development last year. South Korea’s Samsung outlined its own vision for 6G back in July, even speculating that commercialisation could come as early as 2028. Finally, last month saw the European Commission announce around €1 billion for research into 6G, aiming to take a global lead in the emerging technology.

The true potential of 5G has yet to be realised, but 6G is hot on its heels. With geopolitical tensions high around the world, 6G will be an emerging battlefield for tech supremacy and no region wants to see itself fall behind before the race has even truly begun.


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