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Ekudden welcomes strengthened U.S. - EU cooperation on 6G

Ericsson’s Chief Technology Officer, Erik Ekudden, has welcomed a new joint 6G Vision between the United States and the European Union, strengthening cooperation and partnership on developing emerging technologies.

Apr 12, 2024
Image of program code projected on a screen

Speaking following the conclusion of the latest transatlantic intergovernmental Trade and Technology Council (TTC) session in Leuven, Belgium, on April 5 - comprising senior representatives of the U.S Government and the European Union and industry experts - Ekudden said it was important that the U.S. and Europe was aligned on future tech such as 6G, with a shared vision and common goals.

“As a global technology leader, Ericsson is ready to play our role to achieve the aims of the Trade and Technology Council so that the U.S. and Europe can catalyze the development of future technologies, not just for their own innovation and digital economy benefits, but to also drive digitalization with global scale using mobile technologies.”

He adds: “We know from previous generations of mobile technology that getting things right from the outset is crucial to seamless global technology experiences and benefits. That’s why early collaboration, such as the Trade and Technology Council work, is vital to ensuring the future success of 6G and those emerging technologies that it will enable.”  

The April 5 meeting was the sixth gathering of the Trade and Technology Council since its formation in June 2021. Industry experts and legislative representatives from both sides of the Atlantic discussed a range of subjects including 6G, quantum technologies and artificial intelligence.

The meeting was co-chaired by European Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager, European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, United States Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, and United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

Joint 6G Vision adopted

A new Trade and Technology Council 6G Vision was officially adopted at the meeting.

Building on previous TTC 6G work, the joint vision focuses on technology challenges and research collaboration including microelectronics; AI and cloud solutions for 6G; security and resilience; affordability and inclusiveness, sustainability and energy efficiency; openness and interoperability; efficient radio spectrum usage; and standardization.

The joint vision states: “As the European Union and the United States embark on the journey towards 6G, collaboration is not only desirable but essential. By leveraging each region's strengths and expertise, transatlantic cooperation can accelerate the development and deployment of 6G technology while upholding shared principles and values. We intend to strengthen cooperation between our Research and Innovation funding agencies in the range of 6G areas and will increase cooperation in the global standardization process through standardization organizations such as ETSI/3GPP. We also intend to develop an outreach plan with likeminded partners to advance the development and commercialization of 6G networks.”

The strengthened funding agencies’ cooperation includes an administrative arrangement signed between the United States’ National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG Connect) of the European Commission covering collaboration in 6G and Next-Generation Internet technologies.

Ericsson has been a key contributor to the TTC 6G discussion and vision process since the second meeting of the council in May 2022. The fourth TTC meeting - held in Luleå, Sweden, in May 2023 under Sweden’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union - was a key milestone in the 6G vision process. That meeting was attended by Ericsson President and CEO, Börje Ekholm.

About the Trade and Technology Council

The Trade and Technology Council (TTC) is an initiative aimed at fostering transatlantic cooperation between the European Union and the United States in areas related to trade and technology. It is a forum for discussions and collaboration on issues such as digital trade, technology standards, supply chain resilience, and emerging technologies.

The establishment of the TTC was announced in June 2021 following a U.S.-EU Summit in Brussels. Its primary goal is to deepen cooperation between the EU and the U.S. on key technology-related matters, address common challenges, and promote shared interests in the digital economy.

The TTC covers a wide range of topics, including:

  • Digital Trade: Facilitating cross-border data flows, addressing barriers to e-commerce, and promoting digital innovation.
  • Technology Standards: Harmonizing technical standards to facilitate trade and ensure interoperability of products and services.
  • Supply Chain Resilience: Enhancing the resilience and security of global supply chains, particularly in critical sectors like semiconductors and pharmaceuticals.
  • Emerging Technologies: Collaborating on the development and regulation of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and biotechnology.

Overall, the TTC aims to strengthen the transatlantic relationship and promote economic growth and innovation on both sides of the Atlantic through enhanced cooperation in trade and technology.