EuCNC & 6G Summit is among the most eagerly awaited telecommunications events of the year. It gathers cutting-edge research and world-known businesses presenting and discussing the 5G deployment, mobile IoT, 6G, and the future of communications systems. 6G-NTN could not miss the event and went to Antwerp (Belgium) from the 3th to the 6th of June to take part in the 2024’s edition under the motto “From Vision to Reality”. Our Project Coordinator, Alessandro Vanelli-Coralli (University of Bologna) and several other project partners from UNIBO, Thales, CTTC, Orange, SES, Martel Innovate, and Digital for Planet participated in a number of sessions and workshops to present the project development in integrating the Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) into the future 6G infrastructure.  

Here is a short summary of the 6G-NTN contributions and main takeaways from the this year’s EuCNC & 6G Summit: 

“Sixtainability: Paving the Way for a Sustainable 6G” workshop 

The “Sixtainability: Paving the Way for a Sustainable 6G” workshop kicked off our EuCNC & 6G Summit 2024 experience with a robust discussion on the future of mobile networking. Experts shared insights on how 6G technology could drive sustainability goals across economic, societal, and environmental landscapes. Key highlights included visionary strategies, achievements, and lessons learned, accompanied by keynote speeches from industry leaders. Integrating sustainability into the development of 6G architecture and Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN) emerged as a critical focus for the 6G-NTN project. 

“EU Collaborative Research & Innovation Focal Points in the SNS JU” workshop 

The “EU Collaborative Research & Innovation Focal Points in the SNS JU” session shed light on EU collaborative research and innovation towards 6G Smart Networks and Services (SNS). Attendees were given an in-depth overview of the SNS public and private Joint Undertaking (JU) initiative. Discussions centered around fostering Europe’s technological sovereignty and the collaborative efforts necessary to drive innovation in 6G. Participants explored the technical challenges and opportunities ahead, and it gave a good overview of how 6G-NTN can enhance synergies with other SNS projects. 

“Architectural Considerations Enabling the IMT 2030 Framework by European 6G R&D Activities” workshop  

In the workshop on “Architectural Considerations Enabling the IMT 2030 Framework by European 6G R&D Activities” cutting-edge 6G research was front and center. This session addressed strategic advancements under the newly approved ITU IMT-2030 framework, emphasizing sustainability, connectivity, intelligence, and security. Presentations by leading experts, including our Project Coordinator Alessandro Vanelli-Coralli from University of Bologna and project partner German Aerospace Center (DLR), covered essential topics like Ubiquitous Connectivity for the Unconnected and Massive Communication, contributing to the collective vision of 6G’s future.  

“Non-Terrestrial Networks and Terrestrial Networks Unification – from Vision to Reality” workshop   

A significant discussion unfolded at the “Non-Terrestrial Networks and Terrestrial Networks Unification – from Vision to Reality” workshop. This session focused on the integration of space assets into 5G/6G networks, highlighting key projects, experimentation opportunities, and in-orbit validations. University of Bologna’s presentation on Native support to NTN in 6G, in collaboration with SNS JU, 5G-STARDUST, and ETHER, sparked impactful discussions on the future of connectivity.  

“Bringing 6G from vision to reality in Europe – the key role of regulation in research” special session 

The special session on regulatory and standardization challenges and opportunities of 6G provided invaluable insights. This panel explored the convergence of terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks, AI, and millimeter wave communication, emphasizing the harmonization of spectrum bands and ensuring interoperability across complex systems. University of Bologna’s contributions highlighted how Europe can turn the 6G vision into reality, sharing lessons and strategies from the 6G-NTN project with other leaders in the field of telecommunications.   

“European vision on 6G use-cases” special session 

In the “European vision on 6G use-cases” session, results from the 3GPP SA1 workshop were shared, featuring perspectives from Europe, India, China, Japan, South Korea, and the US. Project partner Thales presented on NTN in both 5G and 6G, discussing new roles, capabilities, and connectivity scenarios enabled by 6G, alongside the enabling features for NTN in 6G. The session was a vibrant platform for impactful discussions on the future of connectivity.   

“Emerging Use Cases” session 

The Emerging Use Cases session featured the presentation of the paper “Emerging Advancements in 6G NTN Radio Access Technologies”. This paper explores various challenges faced by Radio Access Technologies (RATs) in 6G Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN) and proposes potential advancements to address these issues. Key areas of focus include improvements in Radio Resource Management (RRM), spectral coexistence between terrestrial and non-terrestrial components, and flexible waveform design solutions. These emerging advancements are crucial for developing next-generation networks and could play a significant role in shaping future standardization efforts.  

Poster presentation about 6G-NTN 

The 6G-NTN project presented a poster outlining the project’s mission, what the main project objectives are and what use cases the consortium has identified. This session gave a space for valuable exchanges with industry leaders in telecommunications from across Europe, furthering the development of next-generation connectivity. 

Overall, the EuCNC & 6G Summit 2024 provided a rich forum for sharing knowledge, fostering innovation, and paving the way towards a sustainable, interconnected future with 6G technology. We are excited to integrate the insights from the conference into the important work 6G-NTN and continue working towards fully integrating a Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) component into the future 6G infrastructure.