Ericsson and CTTC join forces to tackle massive network slicing challenges in advanced 5G and 6G networks
Ericsson and the Centre Tecnològic de Telecommunications de Catalunya (CTTC), a non-profit tech research institution, have joined forces for long-term research in the evolution of 5G and 6G technologies.
This collaboration is part of the UNICO I+D program, supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Digital Transformation and NextGeneration EU, with the goal of establishing a sustainable Spanish 5G/6G innovation ecosystem through collaborative research.
The collaboration centers on two significant research projects, 6G-DAWN and 6G-BLUR, which address technological challenges in implementing and scaling what it terms "massive" network slicing - network slicing at a scale that matches the size and scope of what the industry envisions for 6G. The research will develop design principles and technical implementations, including Proofs of Concept (PoCs), to be shared with Spanish and European 5G/6G research communities.
The primary objective of these projects is to empower communication service providers (CSPs) to seamlessly enhance their network slicing capabilities, transitioning from early-stage deployments to future scenarios. This focus is particularly relevant for non-public networks (NPNs) interconnected with public networks.
In simple terms, the research revolves around four key technological areas:
- Resource flexibility: Optimizing network performance by distributing resources flexibly, especially for massive network slicing. This includes efficient distribution of 5G network functions and leveraging edge computing.
- Energy efficiency and sustainability: Reducing energy consumption across the entire network, from core to edge, RAN and user equipment, with a focus on sustainability.
- Zero-touch automation: Speeding up the launch of new NPN services through automatic adaptation and self-configuration within the public network and edge environment.
- Network resiliency: Ensuring network integrity and reliability using advanced machine learning algorithms to detect and prevent potential service disruptions.
Manuel Lorenzo, Head of Technology and Innovation, Ericsson Spain, says: “5G is rapidly becoming a ubiquitous technology with the potential to connect every person, business, and machine worldwide. Looking ahead, the expected demand for the expansion and enhancement of advanced 5G deployments demands new research and innovation across all aspects of the architectural evolution from 5G to 6G. That's why Ericsson and CCTC are collaborating in the 6G-BLUR and 6G-DAWN projects, sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Digital Transformation.”
Josep Mangues-Bafalluy, Head of the Services as networkS (SaS) research unit, CTTC, and co-Principal Investigator, 6G-BLUR and 6G-DAWN projects, says: The 6G-DAWN and 6G-BLUR projects focus on network slicing, NPN integration, energy efficiency, and zero-touch network automation, utilizing various artificial intelligence techniques, and sow the seeds for the creation of an advanced 5G and 6G industry-academia ecosystem. This ecosystem will be cultivated through research collaborations, such as the one between Ericsson and CTTC. This new collaboration will further strengthen our relationship in areas with high potential to transform the way mobile networks are managed at scale. The outcomes of these projects will have a lasting impact on the research and industrial communities of 5G and 6G."