The next generation of mobile communications, 6G, is picking up pace with research and development work worldwide. Companies and states are investing heavily in this technology, and Bosch is leading the way by actively engaging in projects, alliances, and initiatives at both the national and international level.
According to Dr. Andreas Müller, who bundles and manages 6G activities at Bosch, “6G will be much more than just an infrastructure for connectivity; it will greatly increase the efficiency of autonomous driving cars, smart cities, and connected industries. That’s why 6G is a strategically important field of technology.”
Bosch is currently contributing its expertise and experience to five publicly funded projects, with the company investing several million euros in research and development for 6G. In addition, the company is taking an active and leading role in early discussions and activities relating to future mobile communications standards within various industry alliances.
Bosch and Nokia Expand Their Research Alliance to Include 6G
At the Mobile World Congress 2023 in Barcelona, Bosch and Nokia announced that they will expand the alliance they entered into in 2017 to develop industrial IoT solutions in the area of 5G so that it also addresses the new 6G technology. The two companies are conducting joint research on the next generation of networks and investigating how to use future 6G networks for both communications and sensors.
Comprehensive Bosch Commitment at National and International Level
Bosch is leading the consortium for the 6G-ICAS4Mobility project, which focuses on integrating communication and sensor-based environment recognition. In addition, the company is contributing to the KOMSENS-6G and 6G-BRAINS projects. Insights gained from these projects will serve as technical foundations for applications in the connected drones domain as well as in Industry 4.0.
Meanwhile, the 6G-ANNA and 6G-SHINE projects focus on new connectivity structures that enhance the efficiency of future E/E architectures in vehicles or robot cells. Bosch is also taking an active role in early discussions and activities relating to future mobile communications standards within various industry alliances.
Networks with a Sixth Sense through Integration of Sensor Technology
Among other things, the next generation of mobile communications will integrate new functionalities similar to radar sensors. With 6G, it will be possible to detect the position of objects in the network’s coverage area – without these objects having to be equipped with a radio module.
Experts predict that the first 6G standard will be completed by 2028, with extremely high data rates of up to one terabit per second and very low latency in the order of some 100 microseconds – which is four times faster than a lightning strike.
In recent months, Germany and Europe have launched a large number of 6G projects with the goal of strengthening their technological sovereignty. The German government, through the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), is providing some 700 million euros over the next three years to fund 6G activities. In addition, the EU budget has earmarked a further almost 900 million euros until 2027. Japan and the United States have also launched corresponding investment programs totaling around 4.5 billion dollars.