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Published: November 26th, 2021

Cloud solutions provider VMware announced a partnership with Mitacs, a non-profit organization that connects industries with Canadian academia, to chart a path towards sustainable 6G in Canada.

The collaboration between the two will build a new research and innovation lab in Montreal, in partnership with IEEE Future Networks Initiative. There, VMware will partner with Canadian universities to advance sustainable grids, digital equity, and clean technology surrounding satellite, wireless, and cloud networks.

“This initiative will improve connectivity; enable local, national, and international research collaboration; and support the development of an innovation ecosystem that leverages local strengths,” said John Hepburn, chief executive officer of Mitacs.

Robust telecommunication networks need strong infrastructure backbones to support them. For 5G to operate at the higher radio frequencies called mmWave, operators must use a number of smaller cell towers placed closer together to ensure that the signals reach the users. The next generation 6G network will take this to a whole new level as it’s planned to transmit data on even higher frequencies between 95GHz and 3 THz (terahertz), delivering speeds of up to 1 terabyte per second (!!).

Canada’s population, with its high concentration in urban centres and low density elsewhere,  complicates network development efforts. Connecting rural and remote areas will require even more investment from operators across the network stack. As hardware demands continue to rise, so do their energy consumption and emissions. This initiative seeks to mitigate these issues.

“The path to 6G requires a fundamental rearchitecting of the Internet to an Open Grid – one that can be accessed from everywhere and brings immersive apps to everyone,” said Kit Colbert, chief technology officer of VMware, in the press release. “This calls for significant advancement of physical and digital systems through broad partnerships and true cross-sector collaboration. Our partnership with Mitacs aims to drive this advancement forward, keeping sustainability and digital equity at the heart of our work.”

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