The mobile communication industry is one of the few industry sectors that has been growing at a very fast pace for more than three decades. 5G mobile networks promised to change our modern society and vertical industries and are now gradually being rolled out commercially. The research focus is now shifting towards sixth generation (6G) mobile systems and architectures. While 5G is largely used for communications, 6G mobile networks will go far beyond 5G use cases, involving a vastly larger number of connected devices, significantly higher performance requirements, and support for detailed object and environment sensing in addition to communication. To this end, 6G networks will need to embrace new concepts and capabilities. The overall objective of this project is to integrate such crucial new technologies into 6G to improve wireless communications, provide environmental sensing, and significantly lower the per-device energy footprint to avoid a vast increase in overall network power consumption. We will take a holistic approach, harnessing reconfigurable intelligent surfaces, visible light communication, and RF backscatter, that 6G networks will use. This project is timely, as the solutions that we will design during the project (concluding in December 2024) can be incorporated in the pre-6G systems that are expected to be ready for deployment around the same time, and in line with the roadmap proposed by the 5G Infrastructure Association (5GIA) and the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations. We plan to provide one final demonstrator in collaboration with industry partners of the consortium, integrating communication, sensing and low-power design for the important and emerging use case of the Internet of Everything.
Funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation and the European Union-NextGenerationEU through the UNICO-5G R&D Program of the Spanish Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.