German 6G project chooses Nokia as lead coordinator


Finnish kit vendor Nokia will spearhead 6G-ANNA, a German national-funded lighthouse project designed to drive 6G research and standardisation.

6G ANNA which stands for Access, Network of Networks, Automation & Simplification, is a German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) funded program. It aims to strengthen the 6G research and development agendas for German and European industry as well as advance global pre-standardisation activities from a German and European perspective.

The lighthouse project, which doesn’t seem to have much to do with an actual lighthouse, includes partners from a consortium of research institutes, universities across Germany, SMEs and start-ups, associated organisations along with industry players including Vodafone and Ericsson.

The overarching technical capabilities revolve around interconnecting the digital world with the human and physical worlds through cognition and hybrid intelligence, augmentation and twining and finally collaborative spaces. Key pillars within that are sustainability, security, and flexibility with 6G architecture and system design at the heart of it all.

Here is also where Nokia’s role as coordinator becomes relevant as it will focus on designing an end-to-end 6G architecture and working with other project partners on three key technology areas: 6G access, network of networks, and automation and simplification. Selected topics such as sub-networks, XR, and real-time digital twinning will be implemented and presented as proof of concepts.

“We are honored to lead 6G-ANNA, the most important government-funded 6G lighthouse project in Germany,” said Peter Merz, Head of Nokia Standards. “While the first 6G networks are not expected to be commercially available before 2030, we are already laying the technical foundation with 5G-Advanced, as well as long-term innovation that will drive 6G developments.”

The promise of 6G, according to Nokia and this project, is the fusion of the worlds we live and interact in, along with the notion of togetherness and sustainability. These are all matters close to heart when considering wars and civil unrest, the climate crisis and other sustainability issues that we are ever so more bluntly faced with. While Germany and Europe wait for nationwide 5G coverage, perhaps it is 6G in which we as a human society will finally find solace, with the lighthouse possibly intended as a symbol for hope and security.


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