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Ericsson and KAUST announce R&D partnership to develop 5G and 6G technologies in KSA

Ericsson and KAUST announce R&D partnership to develop 5G and 6G technologies in KSA

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Ericsson and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) have signed a research and development (R&D) partnership in Saudi Arabia for three years. The research will focus on next generations of 5G and 6G including Machine Learning for frequency-selective wireless channels, Terahertz and free-space optical communications and transparent, and flexible intelligent surfaces. The partnership aims to building a pipeline of talent to support the aspirations of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

Telco equipment vendor Ericsson and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) have announced an initial three-year research and development (R&D) partnership focused on three research projects aimed at advancing telecommunication networks with cutting edge technologies. The partnership aims to understand the key features and requirements of next-generation communication systems.

With current optimisation algorithms often entailing considerable computational complexity and processing overhead, Ericsson and KAUST will utilise Machine Learning (ML) for frequency-selective wireless channels, with the aim of using deep learning to solve channel estimation and resource allocation problems for massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) systems. Moreover, as future communication networks will have more emphasis on high data rates, low latency, and high security, Ericsson and KAUST will investigate transparent and flexible intelligent surfaces for 5G and beyond enhanced communication.

According to the two organisations, the partnership will also focus on 6G capabilities moving to higher frequencies such as Terahertz (THz) for higher data rates. In particular, Ericsson and KAUST researchers will study backup solutions for THz communications to guarantee uninterrupted high rate backhaul in 6G dense networks.

Professor Bradley, Vice President for Research, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, said: “We are excited to collaborate with Ericsson to develop novel architectures for future communication networks. As the demand for enhanced communications continues to expand globally, innovative technologies are increasingly needed to solve the major challenges of 5G and future 6G networks. KAUST faculty and facilities offer an empowering environment for this cutting-edge research partnership and we look forward to working closely with colleagues from Ericsson to address the key challenges.”

With Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 having ambitious communication technology goals, the partnership between Ericsson and KAUST will study and envisage the characteristics of the next generation of 6G communication systems and provide future-proof, high-quality networks and solutions that will prove vital to the country in its realisation of Vision 2030.

The agreement is a by-product of stc’s Rawafed programme’s vision to enable local content while contributing to the Kingdom’s ICT sector. Commenting on the agreement, Eng. Emad Alaoudah, Procurement and Support Services Vice President, stc, added: ”Our partners and institutions play an important role in creating world-class networks for now and the future with a key role in empowering Saudi capabilities and development of local high-tech industry. Collaboration is a critical part of this process and this agreement is an example of partnerships that can support Saudi Vision 2030’s Digital Transformation mandate.”

KAUST and Ericsson believe that the research output will vastly contribute to the development of next generation 5G and 6G networks. The results of this partnership will also contribute to the ICT research ecosystem and will be published in top-tier journals. Additionally, the exchange of students and researchers between KAUST and the Ericsson Research in Sweden, will allow for an enhanced transfer of knowledge, education and training.

Magnus Frodigh, Vice President and Head of Ericsson Research, Ericsson said: “We are delighted to partner with KAUST as we believe an ecosystem of strong collaborative partnerships is important in enhancing communications networks. Our partnership with KAUST is part of our aspiration to encourage regional innovation by funding local research projects. By working together on fundamental research areas, our partnership with KAUST will help develop and grow the ICT sector of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and help us meet the demands and opportunities of the 6G era.”

Ericsson and KAUST’s research will be a key enabler to government-sponsored digital initiatives aimed at promoting technological innovation throughout the country. It will also lay the groundwork for research into the future of communication helping the Kingdom to become an engine of innovation and creativity.

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