6G CTO Panel

I just came off the 6G CTO Panel I organized and chaired at 6G@UT in Austin. My esteemed guests on stage were Austin Bonner, Deputy CTO Policy, White House; Erik Ekudden, Group CTO, Ericsson; Danijela Cabric, Prof UCLA & Fellow IEEE; and Ronnie Vasishta, SVP Telecoms, Nvidia.

I started off with some introductory remarks on the importance of innovation, and that it often takes more than a decade to turn a vision into reality. I gave the example of 5G-enabled robotic telesurgery, a field I pioneered almost 10 years ago when at King’s College London. It is only now that this vision is becoming reality!

On the back of these remarks, we started our panel discussions on their personal view of a notable 6G use-case. Not surprisingly, I got a lot of different answers – including automation, education, immersion. We then briefly touched on the lessons learnt from 5G, and how 6G truly differs from 5G. We also discussed some key 6G technologies and the underlying compute fabric.

The two big topics, however, were spectrum and AI. We agreed that the mid/centimetric band spectrum offers most value to the telco stakeholders, however, that hurdles need to be overcome in terms of spectrum co-existence and sharing. AI was centerpiece of our discussions, with important insights on how, where and why AI plays such a pivotal role in 6G.

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