The sixth issue of the European 5G Annual Journal was released highlighting ten key results from the past year.
In the timeframe of this annual report, the last set of 5G PPP projects has started (among which is 5G-Blueprint). These 5G PPP Phase 3 projects cover vital areas such as 5G innovations for verticals with third party services (ICT-41), 5G core technologies innovation (ICT-42), and Smart Connectivity beyond 5G (ICT-52). In addition, in January 2021, the first set of 6G projects has been launched with the Hexa-X flagship developing a first 6G system concept complemented by eight projects investigating specific technologies for 6G, putting Europe on a par with its global competitors. These projects build a bridge between 5G and 6G technologies and form a connection between the activities in the current 5G PPP partnership and the upcoming European partnership on Smart Networks and Services (SNS) towards 6G (5G PPP’s successor).
Unsurprisingly, last year has been very challenging for 5G PPP due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote access to labs and online conferencing allowed many activities to advance, however, there were also many delays across projects as trials and demonstrator activities could not take place as planned. Despite the challenging situation, R&I initiatives on 6G technologies are now starting in leading regions worldwide, with the first products and infrastructures expected for the end of the decade. As Colin Willcock, Chairman of the Board of the 5G IA said, “One aspect that the Covid pandemic has highlighted is the vital nature of communication, and this is at the core of what the 5G PPP is about. The projects of the partnership have faced unique challenges but as can be seen from this annual report, the 5G PPP has made good overall progress with a strong set of projects creating significant results.”