one6G Working Groups

Defining the future of 6G in Europe

The one6G Working Groups bring together top experts from governments, industry, and academia to foster an ongoing discussion on issues related to 6G. Their work is dedicated to/focuses on:

Working Group 1: Use cases, KPIs and future market and business scenarios

Under the leadership of Prof. Mohammad Shikh-Bahaei (King’s College London), Working Group 1 collects and analyzes 6G related use cases, scenarios, and requirements.

Collection of 6G-related use cases and related scenarios

This Work Item will define a collection of use cases and scenarios relevant in the time frame when 6G is commercially available (>2030).

 

6G and robotics

The evolution of mobile radio networks beyond 5G is expected to enable new applications and enhance existing ones in various vertical domains. Among the different application areas, robotics applications, such as cooperative robots in industries, logistics robots within medical facilities, and service robots in domestic environments are gaining significant attention. These applications could potentially uncover new requirements to be provided by 6G that have not been previously discussed or analyzed in detail from a robotics perspective.

This Work Item aims to develop and elaborate on robotics use cases to understand their wireless communication system relevant requirements from key performance indicators (KPI) and functional perspective.

 

6G and e-health

In the last decades, the healthcare sector has been experiencing multiple developments, such as the personalization of healthcare services, increased reliance on data-based analysis for treatment (e.g., preventive medicine), and higher degree of technology (e.g., static robots in operation rooms). It is foreseen that these developments can be positively influenced or even potentially solved with the application of 6G technology. The 6G system can potentially help precisely model individual treatment, enhance the interconnection of different medical data sources of all stakeholders, and improve the capabilities of mobile robotic systems in the whole treatment process with enhanced sensor, connectivity, and intelligence services.

The goal of this Work Item is to identify areas/use cases such as those above that are either currently pursued or envisioned in the healthcare system. The relevant 6G system requirements will be derived by identifying key performance indicators along with other functional/operational requirements.

Working Group 2: Enabling technologies and system architecture

Led by Dr. Zoran Despotovic (Huawei), Working Group 2 is shaping the overall technology foundation (higher frequencies, 6G radio building blocks, intelligent user plane/in-network computing, distributed/federated AI, next-generation MIMO, integrated sensing and communication, and flexible programmable infrastructures).

Terahertz frequencies

This Work Item will identify relevant scenarios and frequencies of interest for HF communication, based on the overall one6G use cases and scenarios defined by Working Group 1. Then, it will perform a survey on existing channel measurements and modeling in selected frequencies. Based on the result of scenario selection and the results of the capabilities of HF in supporting those scenarios, it will identify and perform initial investigation of the main design challenges for HF communication.

 
6G radio building blocks

The next-generation of networks will bring increased demand of data rates, higher frequency bands, increased density of mobile devices, enhanced requirements of security and extreme energy efficiency. This requires enhancing the widely used technologies such as waveform, modulation and coding, non-orthogonal multiple access, full-duplex, etc. to approach the theoretic limits, e.g., in terms of spectral and energy efficiency.

 
Intelligent user plane, in-network computing

The new 6G architecture featuring full integration “applications-computation-network” will be impacted by the introduction of IUP and INC in mobile networks. Network simplification and optimal/flexible utilization of data plane resources are potential benefits to be researched:

  • Potential RAN-Core convergence for specific needs to be investigated
  • 6G subnetworks as new paradigm extending the 5G concepts of SPPN and PNI-NPN
  • 6G hybrid cloud (Flat Network) distribute private/edge/core/public cloud in one network
 
Next-generation MIMO

Next-generation multi-input multi-output (MIMO) is anticipated to become a key enabling technology for 6G. The Work Item analyzes the potential of promising new concepts like cell-free MIMO, intelligent reflecting surfaces (IRS), AI/ML-enabled distributed MIMO, as well as new trends and solutions in antenna technologies.

 
Integrated sensing and communication
  • Integrating sensing in a communication waveform (i.e., OFDM)
  • Optimized spectral allocation and suitable transmission parameters for the combined use of sensing parameter estimation and communications
  • Investigation of communication systems with very large RF bandwidths (several GHz) for sensing but with low complexity (i.e., stepped or sparse OFDM)
  • Integrating communication in a sensing waveform (i.e., FMCW)
  • New waveforms for integrated communication and sensing, e.g., orthogonal time frequency space modulation (OTFS)
  • Full duplex capability and dynamic range for monostatic arrangements and methods
 
Flexible programmable infrastructures

The scope of this Work Item is to lay out the foundations of scalable programmable infrastructures suitable for 6G that focuses on several aspects, such as:

  • Holistic, unified view on resources as a distributed set of compute, network and terminal elements
  • Resilient, flexible, and in-band control realized as a distributed system on one set of resources
  • Support for inclusion of resources through their discovery and on-the-fly inclusion/declarative, more expressive network infrastructure programming approach

It is rooted in a number of requirements and expectations that 6G is sought to fulfill, such as, among others: the need to provide support for full service execution, rather than supporting just connectivity sessions between points in the network, and the need to integrate making of informed, runtime decisions (scheduling) as part of normal network operation, which would enable automation, efficient usage of resources and better service quality as seen by the end user.

 
6G non-terrestrial networks

Non-terrestrial networks (NTN) specify radio access networks where the access nodes (in particular base stations) are carried on airborne (drones, balloons, or aircrafts) or spaceborne platforms (satellites). The latest technology advances of NTN-based communication and its integration into terrestrial radio networks (TN) facilitate ubiquitous connectivity for nearly all types of services, which enables novel use cases with guaranteed service availability any time and everywhere. This Work Item aims to elaborate on these types of novel use cases and the related challenges, and investigate novel technologies toward the integration and convergence of NTN and TN.

 
Distributed/federated AI

In a distributed platform, e.g., in carrier networks, performing centralized learning is not optimal and often too costly due to data gathering overhead, considerable energy supply requirements at the centralized DC to be shouldered by the responsible tenant/owner, and privacy issues. In this Work Item, we study distributed techniques to enable learning over a pool of possibly heterogeneous resources (e.g., computing, connectivity, storage, data, and energy resources) distributed from the core to the deep edge. We will pay a special attention to the consideration of energy source nature of the resources to be used to achieve a preferential usage of renewable energy sources (such as local wind and solar energy) for compute-intensive AI computations, thus making the innate 6G AI greener and more sustainable.

 
Sustainability

This Work Item investigates novel approaches to energy consumption and carbon footprint reduction of ICT services in the era of next-generation mobile telecommunications (6G). It starts with understanding and describing the current ecosystem around energy consumption and CO2e production in the ICT industry. This includes applicable legislation, the requirements for energy consumption and CO2e reduction, currently available approaches to energy reduction, etc. In a later phase, this Work Item will come up with suggestions and concrete approaches to energy consumption/CO2e reduction. These may include, but will not be limited to, novel mechanisms to energy consumption metering, usage of the metered data to perform energy consumption minimization or reduction, methods to enable integration and explicit usage of green energy sources, etc. Economic approaches to energy consumption reduction, e.g., through providing incentives for energy-aware service usage, may also be considered.

 
Multi modal communication

Multi modal (including haptic) communication services enriches interactions in various vertical use cases, such as industrial remote operations. The user in controller domain utilizes the controlled devices (actuators e.g., robotic arm) for performing operations remotely. Thus, the resulting bi-directional multi modal communication poses extreme and/or conflicting stringent requirements on the underlying communication, such as ultra-low latency and ultra-high reliability, availability and security.

The scope of this Work Item is to lay out the foundations of multimodal communication for 6G remote operation and investigates related aspects such as:

  • Tactile and multi modal communication use cases for remote operation over 6G, including multi-user, multi-device applications and their requirements, and performance indicators,
  • 6G functionalities required to support multi modal sensing, interaction & action based on use case requirements and device multi modal technologies and capabilities,
  • AI/ML solutions towards meeting the main KPIs of multi modal communications,
  • Architecture impacts featuring full integration sensing-computation-communication-actuation.

This Work Item will also monitor the related standardization ecosystems, such as IEEE 19181.1 (Tactile Internet), 3GPP Metaverse, ITU-T MV-FG, IEC TC100 to interact and provide interoperable solutions.

Working Group 3: Communication and dissemination

Led by Prof. Albena Mihovska (CTIF Global Capsule), Working Group 3 focuses on communication, promotion, and community building (6G position paper, web portal, social media, newsletter/news, events, liaisons with related initiatives, etc.).

6G positioning paper

The scope of this Working Item is to draft and publish a positioning paper.

 
Dissemination

This working item aims to manage the communication between one6G and external audiences, partners, related organizations, etc.

Working Group 4: Evaluation, testbeds and pilots

Chaired by Mr. Joseph Eichinger (Huawei), Working Group 4 covers all the steps from development to deployment (integrated sensing and communication, testing procedures and certification, testbeds, and trials).

6G connected simulation and trial platform (6GENIAL)

This work item aims to develop a networked, virtualized simulation and trial platform for the deployment and testing of 6G use-cases and scenarios, with demonstrable benefits and a vision when the proposed solution matures. The expected outcome is to define a methodology for a sharable research, demonstrations and prototyping infrastructure, whose elements will be made available to members even if the full set of tools is still under development. In addition, an initial true virtualized and distributed testbed should be established based on the agreed interfaces and API. Moreover, an appropriate methodology should be defined to enable the connection of real-time capable testbeds and prototypes provided by one6g members.

 

Evaluation guidelines for all simulation, emulation, and prototyping activities
  • One of the major objectives of this Work Item is the definition of the evaluation guidelines for all simulation and emulation activities in the project
  • The expected outcome is a set of guidelines for validation and testing, which aims at collecting relevant inputs from all other Working Groups regarding validation and testing purposes
  • Objectives are alignment of essential definitions important to minimize the level of misunderstandings in the joint work.
  • Propose a framework for the cooperation and dependencies between the Working Groups among themselves and the Work Items.
  • Due to the fact that the community has very much different interests starting from radio layer design and up to the AI related network architecture it is valuable to provide an overview different simulator systems and frameworks usually used
  • The guideline therefore also proposes cooperation between the one6g partners to create joint simulation frameworks. It is not limited to simulation; more intensive cooperation can also include the exchange of measurement and AI training data or even the interconnection of prototypes from different partners and to invite for hackathons events.
  • Furthermore, a methodology framework for simulations, emulations and demonstrations is proposed and references to 3GPP for system level and link level simulation assumptions.
  • Guidelines for verification and validation based on prototypes including the definition of different test types. Last but not least, the report gives a proposal about the tasks to align with architecture models provided by other Working Items.
 
Joint Work Item with WG2 to build  demonstrators for integrated sensing, gesture control and communication
  • WG2 will perform the theoretical analysis and simulations.
  • Furthermore it is necessary to demonstrate and prove candidates of the key components and functions by prototypes and functional demonstrations.
  • Besides many other trends integrated communication and sensing is identified as essential technology  for 6G.
  • This joint Work Item between WG4 and WG2 aims to demonstrate the functionalities and advantages of integrated  communication and sensing. It should demonstrate how imaging of objects or human bodies can be  done by using mobile radio technologies and whether it is possible to interpret gestures of humans in order to give meaningful instruction to machines, robots, or moving vehicles.

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