Orange Romania contributes to 4 research projects that will lay the foundations for the development of future 6G networks in Europe
Orange Romania continues to be one of the main contributors in the process of standardization of telecommunications networks at the level of the European Union, having a direct involvement in the definition of future 6G technologies, through involvement in 4 new research projects within Horizon Europe.
The 4 innovative projects are carried out over a period of 3 years and will support the sustainable development of future 6G mobile networks, as well as the intelligent management of network resources through the integration of AI and ML technologies.
Through its contribution to these research programs, Orange Romania reached a total of 22 projects financed by the European Commission, being the only operator in Romania that is part of the Horizon Europe program. Horizon Europe (2021-2027) is an ambitious research and innovation program funded by the European Union, which addresses climate change and sustainable development according to the UN goals, but also aims to stimulate economic growth and competitiveness at EU level. The 4 projects in which Orange contributes directly are part of the second stage of Horizon Europe Smart Networks and Services (2024-2027), in which a total of 27 projects have been approved that will benefit from EU funding, worth of 130 million euros.
6G-PATH aims to develop and implement advanced communication technologies, which will mark the transition to 6G networks. They will support applications in the fields of health, education, smart cities and agriculture, with processing and connectivity requirements that exceed the capabilities of current 5G networks. Orange Romania participates in this project together with the Orange Foundation, using the 5G Lab infrastructure and the Digitaliada platform for a scenario of using education in an immersive way. Two schools will be equipped with state-of-the-art communications infrastructure and augmented reality headsets, allowing students to experience interactive lessons aligned with the school curriculum. In addition to XR equipment, schools will also benefit from tablets or laptops to access learning resources from the Digitaliada platform, thus facilitating access to education in these communities.
6G-INTENSE aims to create an AI-native management and orchestration system for 6G networks that integrates sustainability solutions, promoting infrastructure sharing between operators and cooperation between them by using a common infrastructure. 6G-INTENSE, introduces the concept of “sensing”  which is seen as a key technology for the integration of Edge Compute type systems, offering the possibility of automatic selection of the data processing location according to the available hardware resources. Two pilot projects, implemented by Orange Romania and Realworld Systems, will validate the new technologies in the processing areas and in the Metaverse concept, involving significant hardware resources supported by the network infrastructure of the 5G Lab.
iSEE-6G aims to create prototypes of passive and active antennas with intelligent reconfiguration functionalities of the served surfaces. The ways of building and transmitting radio signals are thus optimized, and the processing algorithms allow the implementation of 6G technologies. Using these new hardware and software technologies improves the efficiency and resilience of collaborative communications with sensing capabilities, optimizing spectrum, device location performance connected to radio nodes, and network delays. As part of this project, Orange Romania will evaluate the system’s “sensing” capabilities, will work on the integration of radio equipment functionalities for the intelligent reconfiguration of the served areas and will implement, together with the local partner, AgriCloud, a demonstrator for an area monitoring application urban areas using drones.
6G-MUSICAL aims to equip future 6G radio nodes with equipment based on radar technologies for “sensing” that will work in parallel with cellular communication components. This approach will facilitate the detection, localization and tracking of connected objects, providing centimeter accuracy and the possibility of high-resolution 3D reconstruction of detected objects. A key objective of the project is to develop reliable and efficient antenna prototypes for Beyond-5G and 6G networks, using new radio bands and innovative materials to improve the performance of communication systems, including transfer speeds. The project team will focus on building the radio signals, using new processors and materials for the logic components, with the aim of improving the power consumption and efficiency of the systems. Orange Romania actively participates in this project, being interested in exploiting the results for the creation of innovative products and services for the B2B segment. It will also integrate the applications and solutions developed by the project partners in the 5G Lab.
“The projects that we are announcing today represent a continuation of the efforts of the last years of active participation of Orange Romania in the development of the technologies of the future, such as 6G. We are talking both about the standardization of Beyond-5G networks, and about concrete implementations in solutions that in the coming years will be integrated into services for companies or the public sector. Last but not least, sustainability plays an important role in defining the next generation of networks, which will be much more energy efficient and more environmentally friendly,” said Cristian Pațachia-Sultănoiu, Development & Innovation Manager Orange Romania.
Orange annually invests over 200 million euros to improve its services, which is also confirmed by the recent certification granted by the independent auditor LCC International. The measurements carried out in 40 cities and on the connecting roads between them, showed that Orange Romania remains the best mobile network in terms of the performance of voice and data services.