The new virtual hub, called 6G Futures, unites more than 400 world-renowned experts in telecommunications networks, cyber, Artificial Intelligence, digital humanities, social sciences and arts from the University of Bristol and King’s College London in a unique partnership that will help shape the future of mobile technology for individuals and society.

Some 6G enabled concepts look futuristic like holographic communications, immersive life or the creation of digital twins. However, others like autonomous driving are already well-recognised. Through further development of human-centric 6G networks, the applications of such advances have the potential to further transform how health, arts, transport, and many more systems currently operate.

Headshot of Dimitra SimeonidouProfessor Dimitra Simeonidou, Director of the University of Bristol’s Smart Internet Lab and Co-Director of Bristol Digital Futures Institute, said. “The public is only beginning to see first-hand the enormous potential of 5G networks, an area which we have been working on for many years. Through this new centre, we will now focus on the next generation mobile networks – 6G and beyond – and the truly awe-inspiring capabilities these will bring. 6G will be inherently human-centric, and will establish a cyber-physical continuum by delivering real time sensory information, supporting haptics and holograms. This takes us far beyond future-forecasting: crucially, this is about having the specialist knowledge and expertise to transform visions into deliverable solutions, accelerate innovation, and make a positive difference to society worldwide.”

 

A partnership between University of Bristol & Kings College for 6G research centre

Professor Mischa Dohler, Professor in Wireless Communications at King’s, said. “As adoption of 5G accelerates around the world, it’s important the UK is prepared for 6G as the next generation mobile technology. The creation of this centre is a notable moment for the UK technology sector. We will be developing novel architectures, incorporating federated exchange and self-synthesising mechanisms, advance the internet of skills, and embed blockchain, quantum and federated AI technologies. But it’s not just pure tech – we’ll be working on co-creation with verticals toward some truly exciting and societally impacting use-cases, while contributing to policy, alliances and global standards.”

Both institutions played a pivotal role in bringing 5G to the mainstream. While they both excel in AI/ML, King’s specialises in mobile networks and Bristol excels in wired/wireless technology and network layers. By combining their preeminent skills, the centre will strengthen the UK’s world-class track record in telecoms.

The anticipated capabilities of 6G are mind-boggling. With projected download speeds 10 times faster than 5G, 6G will also harness the ability of trillions of connected machines to transfer sensory information as part of the communications experience, creating a whole new cyber-physical continuum. Furthermore, 6G will comprise networks which design, organise, and sustain themselves, offering previously unchartered levels of efficiency.

Ben Shorrock

Ben has been working to help grow tech and digital business for the last decade. He is currently the MD of TechSPARK the Southwest’s network for tech startups and scale ups working with 25,000 people a month to help them recruit, network and raise capital in the UK’s most productive Tech cluster (TechNation 2019). He sits on the boards of the UK Tech Cluster Group, Bristol’s ONce City Economy Board, Tech Swindon, Tech Southwest and is a co-founder of Bristol Tech Festival. Prior to working for TechSPARK, Ben worked in consultancy with businesses opening new sites internationally. In this role, he helped set up Invest Bristol & Bath and the Netherlands consulate for the north of England.