Panel 1

Panel 12023-06-05T16:35:59+00:00

Speeding up digitalization and closing digital divide in 6G era

Wednesday, 7 June 2023, 14:00-15:30, Congress Hall


  • Matti Latva-aho (6G Flagship, Univ. of Oulu, FI)

Motivation and Background

The opportunity to define networks for the 6G era has been successfully framed from a value perspective: To help the world act together, key value indicators for 6G should include sustainability, trustworthiness and digital inclusion. In this panel, we will explore options of speeding up digitalization to help meet and exceed objectives of societal and economic value capture and digital inclusion. While 5G related innovation will likely continue to make impact until the end of the decade, the big promise of  productivity increase in various sectors of industry and enhanced user experience  with 5G is still mainly a promise. Of course 5G technology needs little bit more time to unfold its full potential and mature towards cost and energy efficient solutions, but we can also question the existing business models and operator models: should we enable and encourage new players to invest, build and operate the networks and to develop location & context dependent applications & specialized services? Taking into consideration the availability of higher spectrum bands for 6G operation, maybe the time has come to change spectrum licensing and net neutrality policies for the higher spectrum bands foster gowth and business innovation. In addition to specialized, local and often private networks, many future applications require wireless connectivity in rural or remote areas as well (autonomous vehicles of different sorts on ground, underground, air and seas). Many of the challenges for providing digital services  in remote areas are non-technical; the whole value chain needs to be re-evaluated, e.g. who will contribute building the infrastructure, who will operate the network, what should the role of public players be, are we going to have local/private 6G networks open to public, who will provide unique local services are some of the questions to be answered.


  1. What is the potential of existing terrestrial systems for providing rural large area coverage?
  2. Why satcom is needed for 6G? What’s the role of it in the 6G ecosystem?
  3. How the regional differences (ability to use and affordability; regulations; availability of business ecosystem) must be taken into account when connecting the last 3 billion?
  4. What is the role of local connectivity solutions (public vs. private) in 6G era and how different regional regulatory schemes should be taken into consideration?
  5. Will 6G tolerate access agnosticity when developing future business models?
  6. Which is driving 6G: industrial metaverse or societal needs?


The panel is composed of (see CVs below):

  • Chair: Matti Latva-aho (Moderator) (Director, 6G Flagship, Univ. of Oulu, FI)
  • Jaap van de Beek (Professor, Luleå University of Technology, SE)
  • Marko Höyhtyä (Research Professor, VTT, FI)
  • Sudhir Dixit (6G Flagship, Univ. of Oulu, FI)
  • Akihiro Nakao (Professor, The University of Tokyo, JP )
  • Hanne-Stine Hallingby (Senior Research Scientist, Telenor RI, NO)
  • Volker Ziegler (Senior Technology Advisor, Nokia, DE)

Matti Latva-aho

Matti Latva-aho received the M.Sc., Lic.Tech. and Dr. Tech (Hons.) degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Oulu, Finland in 1992, 1996 and 1998, respectively. From 1992 to 1993, he was a Research Engineer at Nokia Mobile Phones, Oulu, Finland after which he joined Centre for Wireless Communications (CWC) at the University of Oulu. Prof. Latva-aho was Director of CWC during the years 1998-2006 and Head of Department for Communication Engineering until August 2014. He served as Academy of Finland Professor in 2017 – 2021. Currently he is professor at the University of Oulu on wireless communications and Director for the National 6G Flagship Programme. He is also a Global Fellow (Visiting Professor) with The University of Tokyo. Prof. Latva-aho has published over 500 conference or journal papers in the field of wireless communications. He received Nokia Foundation Award in 2015 for his achievements in mobile communications research.

Jaap van de Beek

Jaap van de Beek is chaired professor of Signal Processing with Luleå University of Technology, Sweden, and a Fellow of the IEEE.  After spending over two decades in industry, in telecommunications research labs with Telia Research, Nokia Networks, and Huawei Technologies, he returned to academia in 2013, where his research continues to focus on radio networks, technologies and solutions.  In different roles he has been involved in the various generations of mobile cellular communications systems. He developed base station receiver algorithms for GSM evolution systems. He was among those pioneering OFDM as an access scheme for cellular radio in the late nineties, and he has been contributing to the preparation and specification of 3GPP’s fourth generation LTE standard, for which he holds a number of essential patents. More recently, he has been developing methods that effciently reduce spectral interference of radio transmitters, work for which he received the IEEE Communications Society Heinrich Hertz award. Today, he explores the potential that reconfigurable meta surfaces bring to sensing and communication. Beyond the physical layer of radio access networks, Prof. van de Beek engages in improving Internet access in rural and remote regions.  His interests extend to technologies, systems, regulatory instruments and business models that help provide ubiquitous coverage and connectivity for all.

Marko Höyhtyä

Marko Höyhtyä is Research Professor at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, focusing on satellite communications and situational awareness technologies. He has almost 20 years’ experience on connectivity technology research and development both for terrestrial and satellite networks. He has led several European Space Agency (ESA) projects as well as prepared a joint vision with ESA for 5G and Beyond networks. He was a Visiting Researcher at the Berkeley Wireless Research Center, CA, from 2007 to 2008, and a Visiting Research Fellow with the European Space Research and Technology Centre, the Netherlands, in 2019. His research interests include critical communications, autonomous systems, space-based observation technologies and satellite-terrestrial connectivity. He is an associate professor (docent) at the National Defence University of Finland as well as at the University of Oulu.

Sudhir Dixit

Sudhir Dixit received his M.B.A. degree in business administration from the Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, and his Ph.D. degree in electronic science and telecommunications from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom. He is a Co-Founder and COO of   Basic Internet Foundation in Norway and heads its San Francisco, California, office. He is a board member and working group chair at the Wireless World Research Forum. He leads the Connecting the Unconnected working group at the IEEE Future Network and IEEE ICAIDS’s Sustainability for Connectivity and Telecom Systems Initiative. From December 2013 to April 2015, he was a distinguished chief technologist and chief technology officer of the Communications and Media Services for the Americas Region of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Services in Palo Alto, California, and, prior to this, he was the director of Hewlett-Packard (HP) Labs India in Bangalore, India. From 2015 to 2017, he was a chief executive officer of Skydoot, Inc., which he cofounded. Before joining HP, he worked in various leadership roles at BlackBerry (senior director), Nokia (head of Nokia Research Center, Boston), Nokia Siemens Networks (head of network technology for the United States) and Verizon Communications (staff director and principal scientist). He has 21 patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and has published more than 200 papers and edited, coedited, or authored eight books by Wiley, Springer, and Artech House. He has been a technical editor of IEEE Communications Magazine and is presently on the editorial boards of IEEE Spectrum, Cambridge University Press Wireless Series, and Springer’s Wireless Personal Communications Journal. He has served as general chair, technical program chair, and steering committee chair for numerous conferences. From 2010 to 2012, he was an adjunct professor of computer science at the University of California, Davis, and, since 2010, he has been a docent of broadband mobile communications for emerging economies at the University of Oulu, Finland. He is a fellow of the IET and IETE. He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE.

Akihiro Nakao

Akihiro Nakao received B.S. (1991) in Physics, M.E. (1994) in Information Engineering from the University of Tokyo. He was at IBM Yamato Laboratory, Tokyo Research Laboratory, and IBM Texas Austin from 1994 till 2005. He received M.S. (2001) and Ph.D. (2005) in Computer Science from Princeton University. He taught as an associate professor (2005-2014) and as a professor (2014-2021) in Applied Computer Science, at Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies, the University of Tokyo. He has served as Vice Dean of the University of Tokyo’s Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies (2019-2021). In April 2021, he has moved to School of Engineering, the University of Tokyo (2021-present). He was appointed as an adviser to the President of the University of Tokyo (2019-2020) and as a special adviser to the President of the University of Tokyo (2020-present). He is serving as Director, Collaborative Research Institute for NGCI,(Next-Generation Cyber Infrastructure, the University of Tokyo (2021-present). For social services, he has been playing several important roles in Japanese government and also at research societies. He has also been appointed Chairman of the 5G Mobile Network Promotion Forum (5GMF) Network Architecture Committee by Japanese government. He has been appointed as Chairman of 5G/Beyond 5G committee, Space ICT Promotion Initiative Forum, International Committee, and Beyond 5G Promotion Consortium as well (2020-present). From 2020 to present, he is a chair and advisor of IEICE technical committee on network systems (NS) as well as a chair of IEICE technical committee on cross-field research association of super-intelligent networking (RISING).

Hanne-Stine Hallingby

Hanne Stine is an experienced telecommunication market expert who currently works making 5G and beyond a success. Currently, she is a Senior Research Scientist in Telenor Research & Innovation, engaged in EU and Telenor projects on 5G and beyond pilots, business customer requirements, and business models; more particularly, she is exploring 5G ecosystem hurdles and enablers for growth. This has led to a role as a chair for the 5G IA sub-working group on “Business Validation, Models, and Ecosystems”. Prior to her current position as researcher, she worked for 15 years in Telenor as a project leader and consultant with business development and change processes. In 2018 she topped her two Masters in business and strategy with an Industrial PhD in Innovation studies. She has published articles in journals such as Communications Magazine, MIS Quarterly Executive, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, and also attended conferences such as EuCNC, TPRC, International Telecommunication Society, and World Open Innovation Conference. Her research interests continue to be evolution of systemic technologies such as telecommunication. Her passion is with the applications of technology to the best of firms, humans, and society.

Volker Ziegler

Volker is an energetic, strategic and purpose-driven leader with 25+ years of broad and international experience in the telecommunications industry. He currently serves as Senior Technology Advisor and Chief Architect in Nokia Strategy and Technology unit. Previously, Volker has exercised a leadership role with Nokia Bell Labs in 6G research and ecosystem and has served as Head of 5G Leadership and Chief Architect of Nokia Mobile Networks. Prior to this, Volker has been active in the Head of Strategy role of Nokia Siemens Networks where he had also served as the Head of the North-East Region. In his 10+ year career with Siemens, Volker has held business unit leadership, finance, sales and marketing, services and R&D global roles and senior positions. He has worked as Information Technology Specialist with the World Bank / IFC in the mid-90s. Volker has started his career as a research scientist with German Aerospace Research / DLR. Volker holds a Dr.-Ing. (PhD) degree in Electrical Engineering from Technische Hochschule (TH) Karlsruhe in Germany and is a graduate of the Executive Development Program at Harvard Business School.

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