In the last week of May, Nextworks -member of the PREDICT-6G Consortium- participated in the IEEE ICC Conference as an exhibitor, with a dedicated booth where the company showcased R&D activities and results of past and ongoing research projects. It was a nice opportunity to discuss with partners and potential customers the latest research activities of the company in H2020, Horizon Europe and ESA projects, presenting results on management and orchestration for 5G/6G infrastructures, integration of satellite technology in 5G networks, edge-cloud continuum, IoT platforms and AI solutions for Industry 4.0 and Quantum Key Distribution.

The IEEE ICC is a capital event, one of the two flagship conferences of the IEEE ComSoc together with Globecom, attracting participants from dozens of countries around the world, both from Academia and Industry. This year’s edition, entitled “Sustainable Communication for Renaissance”, was held in Rome, at La Nuvola Convention Centre, and it brought together more than 2,000 delegates. The conference had 6G as central topic, addressing technical aspects like security, reliability and trustworthiness, network automation, radio interface, integration of Non-Terrestrial Networks, and discussing new use cases, vertical sectors and business scenarios for 6G, with a continuous and transversal attention to the sustainability of the network. Artificial Intelligence and Digital Twinning, crucial technology enablers for PREDICT-6G have been also widely discussed in several workshops and keynotes, with active participation from vendors and network operators. The exhibition area, with more than 30 booths set up by companies, research institutes, consortia and projects, was able to concentrate a heterogenous multitude of people, interested in a variety of topics and research activities, in one place.

In this context, Nextworks had the opportunity to present the PREDICT-6G concepts and technologies for predictable and deterministic services in 6G infrastructures, attracting attention from researchers and technology providers in the area of TSN and Industrial IoT.  During the 5-day conference, there was the opportunity to discuss the project at different levels of technical detail, from the most basic concepts (“What is predictability?”, “What is a deterministic network?”) to the more complex topics, which are still being discussed even among the project participants. One of the main elements that sparked interest in the audience is the aim of PREDICT-6G of creating determinism across different network technologies in a transparent manner. Indeed, such an ambitious goal implies a strong cooperation between experts working on Data and Control planes, to address together challenges that covers aspects of packet ordering and time synchronisation, up to virtualization and abstraction for seamless orchestration of E2E deterministic connectivity over heterogenous networks.

Another important question received was “Why?”, what is the applicability of PREDICT-6G. Determinism is a crucial characteristic for industrial networks and in the era of mobility and network pervasiveness, manufacturing industries are more and more connected and remotely managed. As such, they are perfect early adopter for PREDICT-6G technologies. The presence of big manufacturers in PREDICT-6G consortium will be crucial to identify their key requirements and validate the solutions that will be developed in the project in realistic environments able to replicate operational conditions.

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