Azimeh Sefidcon: “A Unified Networking Experience in the 6G-Era”

Chair: Johann Marquez-Barja, imec – Antwerp Univ., BE

VP, Head of Network System and Security Research at Nokia Bell Labs, SE

Tuesday, 4 June 2024, 9:45-10:30, room Elisabeth Hall


With the expectation on 6G, ambition with integrated communication and sensing, and diverse set of usecases, there will come the need for resources from a wide variety of technologies and stakeholders in order to meet the demands. This can dramatically increase the complexity of running the network and consuming its services — complexity that can turn into an innovation inhibitor. In this talk, UNEXT is presented as the approach for creating a unified networking experience that systemically addresses this complexity. The goal is to create a secure and reliable experience of the network for operators and users alike. The unified networking experience is addressing, service composition, management of knowledge and data, network compute continuum, multi-stakeholder distributed environment and network application symbiosis in a harmonized way that transforms the network into a self-managing, interactive operating system that will break down barriers that have traditionally prevented network elements from interoperating.


Azimeh Sefidcon is head of network systems and security research at Bell Labs. In this role, she leads a global team of researchers responsible for sketching the future vision of network systems and demonstrating the differentiators with the technologies covering security, automation, advanced computing and end to end network evolution; taking the steps toward a potential paradigm shift in networking. In addition she is a technical judge in various national and global research funding institutes and has served on several board of directors for advanced technical research programs. She holds a PhD degree in mobility and IP, a master degree in intelligent networks and a master degree in computing hardware. Since 2003, she has held various technology development and leadership roles in mobile and core networks as well as software and system design while leading the vision of network compute convergence. Together with her team, she is currently focused on UNEXT for unified networking experience transforming the network to meet the future need.

Petar Popovski: “The Role of Wireless Systems in the Interplay of Physical and Digital Time”

Chair: Luis M. Correia (IST/INESC-ID – University of Lisbon & INESC, PT)

Petar Popovski

Professor, Aalborg Univ., DK

Wednesday, 5 June 2024, 9:00-9:45, room Elisabeth Hall


Wireless systems beyond 5G evolve towards embracing both sensing and communication, resulting in increased convergence of the digital and the physical world. The existence of fused digital-physical realms raises critical questions regarding temporal ordering, causality, and synchronization of events that cannot be addressed solely by imposing ultra-low latency requirements. This talk will present the general concept of timing in wireless communication systems and its relation to effective information generation, processing, transmission, and reconstruction at the senders and receivers. With the increasing importance of sensing and Integrated Sensing and Communications (ISAC), wireless systems evolve towards becoming perceptive wireless networks. Inspired by multisensory perception in humans, the talk will introduce Temporal Windows of Integration (TWI) for wireless systems that combine sensing and communication and show their role in determining causality and simultaneity in perceptive wireless networks. One of the takeaways is that the future Base Stations and Access Points will have a timestamping functionality that determines the chronology of the events, simultaneity, and causality and in that way ensure trustworthiness in the physical-world events that are mapped to the digital infrastructure.


Petar Popovski is a Professor at Aalborg University, where he heads the section on Connectivity and a Visiting Excellence Chair at the University of Bremen. He received his Dipl.-Ing and M. Sc. degrees in communication engineering from the University of Sts. Cyril and Methodius in Skopje and the Ph.D. degree from Aalborg University in 2005. He is a Fellow of the IEEE. He received an ERC Consolidator Grant (2015), the Danish Elite Researcher award (2016), IEEE Fred W. Ellersick prize (2016), IEEE Stephen O. Rice prize (2018), Technical Achievement Award from the IEEE Technical Committee on Smart Grid Communications (2019), the Danish Telecommunication Prize (2020) and Villum Investigator Grant (2021). He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of IEEEE JOURNAL ON SELECTED AREAS IN COMMUNICATIONS. Prof. Popovski was the General Chair for IEEE SmartGridComm 2018 and IEEE Communication Theory Workshop 2019. His research interests are in communication theory and wireless connectivity.

Wen Tong: “AI, the Bridge to 6G”

Chair: Luis M. Correia (IST/INESC-ID – University of Lisbon & INESC, PT)

Wen Tong

CTO, Huawei Wireless, Huawei Technologies, CA

Wednesday, 5 June 2024, 9:45-10:30, room Elisabeth Hall


With the rise of AI revolution, it will generate the impact to almost every service and applications, therefore the 6G platform will be able to support future AI service, such as AGI. We present the potential 6G enabling technologies, that can optimize the RAN, Core networks architectures, we also discuss the AI computing capability evolution and AI driven future software development and the impact for 6G infrastructure. In view of that AI will be the dominant service in the next decade, we propose the A-RAN, A-Core and A-UE concept.


Dr. Wen Tong is the CTO, Huawei Wireless and a Huawei Fellow. He is the head of Huawei wireless research, and the Huawei 5G chief scientist and led Huawei’s 10-year-long 5G wireless technologies research and development. Dr. Tong is the industry recognized leader in invention of advanced wireless technologies, for the past three decades, he had pioneered fundamental technologies from 1G to 6G wireless. Dr. Tong was elected as an IEEE Fellow. He was the recipient of IEEE Communications Society Industry Innovation Award and IEEE Communications Society Distinguished Industry Leader Award for “pioneering technical contributions and leadership in the mobile communications industry and innovation in 5G mobile communications technology”. He is also the recipient of R.A. Fessenden Medal. Prior to joining Huawei in 2009, Dr. Tong was the Nortel Fellow and head of the Network Technology Labs at Nortel. He joined the Wireless Technology Labs at Bell Northern Research in 1995 in Canada. Dr. Tong is a Fellow of Canadian Academy of Engineering.

Ana Garcia Armada: “Towards a 6G Physical Layer”

Chair: Ari T. Pouttu (Centre for Wireless Communications University of Oulu, FI)

Ana Garcia Armada

Professor, Univ. Carlos III de Madrid, ES

Thursday, 6 June 2024, 9:00-9:45, room Darwin Hall


The evolution of mobile communications towards 6G will enable new applications and services that will require a new radio interface to meet new challenging key performance indicators (KPIs). It is expected to operate ubiquitously in all kinds of environments, including some challenging ones that were not fully covered with 5G. The waveforms and the way the radio resources are organised have an important impact on the achievability of these KPIs. This talk examines some of the possible solutions for the physical layer of the next generation radio access, with particular focus on waveforms and the required signaling structure for channel estimation. Given that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution, we advocate that the key is flexibility, which is enabled by the multi-carrier nature of most of the proposals making use of a common architecture. Efficient ways to multiplex the reference signals and data are also presented, adapting to the characteristics of each waveform and facilitating the joint estimation of positioning and data.


Ana García Armada is a Professor at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, where she is leading the Communications Research Group. She has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University, Bell Labs and University of Southampton. She is the co-author of eight book chapters on wireless communications and signal processing. She has published more than 250 papers in international journals and conference proceedings and she holds six granted patents. She is serving on the editorial board of IEEE Transactions on Communications, IEEE Open Journal of the Communications Society, and ITU Journal on Future and Evolving Technologies. She is an IEEE Fellow. She was awarded the third place Bell Labs Prize 2014 for shaping the future of information and communications technology. She has received the Outstanding service award from the IEEE ComSoc Signal Processing and Communications Electronics technical committee and from the IEEE ComSoc Women in Communications Engineering Standing Committee. She has received the IEEE ComSoc/KICS Exemplary Global Service Award.

Stefaan Vyverman: “Regulatory Insights: Paving the way for a thriving 6G Era, starting from 5G deployment lessons”

Chair: Ari T. Pouttu (Centre for Wireless Communications University of Oulu, FI)

Stefaan Vyverman

Member of the Council of BIPT, BE

Thursday, 6 June 2024, 9:45-10:30, room Darwin Hall


The global deployment of 5G technology continues to progress, delivering anticipated benefits alongside a spectrum of technical, economic, and societal challenges. As we navigate these complexities, including both anticipated and unforeseen obstacles, it becomes increasingly evident that the evolution towards 6G must proactively address these multifaceted challenges to ensure a smoother transition and maximize the potential  impacts.


Stefaan Vyverman is in charge of the Telecom Market & Media Department and the Assignments Department. He is also responsible for the internal department Logistics & Purchases. Stefaan Vyverman holds master degrees in Business Economics and Communication Studies (UGent). From 1993 to 1997, he worked at the Cabinet of the Flemish Prime Minister Luc Van Den Brande, where he advised on media & telecommunications policy and general economic affairs. He then built up an extensive telecoms expertise within Proximus’s Wholesale Department. Stefaan has been working as a telecom consultant since 2015. In that capacity, he has directed a wide range of projects in the telecom sector in the areas of strategy, procurement, wholesale & B2B and market localization for both fixed and mobile technologies. Since 2019, Stefaan was also the head of 5G launch Benelux at Capgemini Invent.

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