Three I3A Unizar research groups obtain two million euros for research into 6G technology

The grant package comes from the Ministry for Digital Transformation and the Civil Service, through the NextGenerationEU Funds of the Recovery Plan.

The University of Zaragoza is at the forefront of research in 6G technology, thanks to the significant financial backing of almost two million euros (1,985,000) that it has obtained to finance new infrastructures and state-of-the-art scientific and technical equipment with the capacity to advance the development of 6G mobile communications technology.

This project will be developed by three research groups of the Engineering Research Institute of Aragon (I3A) of the University of Zaragoza, working on Photonic Technologies (GTF), Electronic Design (GDE) and Communication Networks and Information Technologies (CeNIT). Led by Juan Ignacio Garcés, researcher of the Photonic Technologies Group, they have achieved this important funding within a call of the Ministry for Digital Transformation and Public Function, through the NextGenerationEU Funds of the Recovery Plan, within the ÚNICO I+D 6G 2023 programme.

It will be used to create laboratories with unique scientific and technical equipment in which they will be able to research the latest 6G fronthaul technologies (those that carry data between antennas and communications base stations), especially those that require larger carrier frequencies in the 28 GHz range, which will make it possible to transmit data with more bandwidth, i.e. transmission speed, and less latency, i.e. data will take less time to reach the terminals.

For her part, the vice-rector of Science Policy at the University of Zaragoza, Rosa Bolea, highlighted "the importance of the funding obtained as it will allow the institution to position itself at the forefront of research in 6G technology". "This equipment can turn the University of Zaragoza", she added, "into a leading research entity in this field, which will allow it to compete and grow in projects and collaborations with other national and international entities".

The three I3A Unizar research groups specialise in this technology, as Juan Ignacio Garcés, from the Photonic Technologies Group and PI of the project, explains, "we already have research and laboratories in this field, otherwise we would not have been able to enter this call, but with this funding we are going to take a huge step forward in terms of the quality of the equipment we will be able to use. Until now we could only reach a relatively low frequency range, we could not go to higher frequencies because the equipment is very expensive and only large corporations or very powerful research groups can afford it and, thanks to this Single Programme, at the University of Zaragoza we will have state-of-the-art equipment that will allow us to advance in research in 6G technologies to the level of other European countries and companies that have this type of equipment".