Forging a Sustainable Path to 6G

An IEEE Future Networks Initiative workshop sponsored by VMware

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Coinciding with: Mobile World Congress in Barcelona
Date & Time: 09:00 – 18:00 CET on Thursday, 3 March, 2022.
Location: Hotel 1898, La Rambla, 109, 08002 Barcelona, Spain

Watch the On-Demand Recording.

IEEE, the world’s largest professional organization advancing technology for humanity, is hosting a workshop focusing on forging a path to sustainable 6G. This workshop is organized by the IEEE Future Networks Initiative, and is aimed at bringing together researchers, scientists, technology experts, and stakeholders from industry, governments and academia. It will be held in the backdrop of Mobile World Congress on Thursday, 3 March 2022 at Hotel 1898 in the heart of Barcelona.

Tackling sustainability is one of the most important challenges of today, and future networks have a crucial role to play. The increased demand for data caused by our growing population and its seemingly limitless need for high-speed information will be a driver for massive energy consumption in the ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) industry. Despite laudable increases in network efficiency to date, we must find new and innovative ways to reduce power consumption and transition to renewable energy sources to prevent potentially drastic increases in emissions and power consumption.

To make sustainable networks a reality, we need to evolve each part of the network. While energy consumption is an important aspect of sustainable practices, we also must consider things like land and water use, as well as recycling and sourcing of the materials used for electronics manufacturing. This workshop is expected to serve as a catalyst to:

  • investigate and identify requirements for sustainable next-generation communication networks
  • discuss future trends to identify new research areas and opportunities for innovation, targeting the 6G (next ten years) timeframe

The workshop will have expert talks and a panel on the topics related to sustainable digital infrastructure, the circular economy, ongoing and anticipated evolutions of network structure, examining how networks can enable sustainability of other industries, and more. Contact Ashutosh Dutta (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for further information.


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 Time  Speaker (Affiliation)  Topic Description
 09:00-09:15   Ashutosh Dutta (IEEE Future Networks Initiative)    Welcoming Session 
 09:15-10:00   Jesus Alonso-Zarate(i2CAT)  Morning Keynote: Shaping the European 6G Vision
 10:00-10:25   Kaniz Mahdi (Open Grid Alliance)   An Introduction to TETRA - Digital Equity Grid Innovation 
 10:25-10:50   Siobhán Clarke (CONNECT Centre, Trinity College Dublin)   Connecting communities to smart urban environments
 10:50-11:10  Coffee Break   
 11:10-11:35   Mehdi Bennis (University of Oulu)   VisionX: Semantic communication Meets System2 ML 
 11:35-12:00  Luis Miguel Contreras (Telefonica)  Pathways for sustainability on transport networks - Visions from Telefonica 
 12:00-12:25  Chih-Lin I (China Mobile)  The Green Miles of 4G/5G/6G for Sustainability
 12:25-13:30  Lunch Break   
 13:30-14:15  Kit Colbert (VMware)  Afternoon Keynote: Creating a more sustainable Next G
 14:15-14:40   Frank Fitzek (TU Dresden)  Randomness: The holy grail for communications systems
 14:40-15:05  Falko Dressler (TU Berlin)  Virtualized Mobile Edge Computing in the 6G Era
 15:05-15:30  Coffee Break  
 15:30-15:55  Nada Golmi (NIST)  Towards Sustainable NextG: Challenges & Opportunities
 15:55-16:20  Johan Bäck (Infinera)  The role of the optical layer for a sustainable path toward 6G

*NOTE: all times Central European Standard Time, GMT+1 


Jesus Alonso Zarate profileJesus Alonso-Zarate, i2CAT - Jesus Alonso-Zarate, PhD and MBA, is the 6G Programme Director and Deputy Director of EC R&I Policy & Strategy at the i2CAT Foundation, located in Barcelona. He is also the Chairman of the 5G for Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) Working Group of the 6G Industry Association (6G-IA). Before that, he was with the Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya (CTTC), where he was the Communication Technologies Division Manager and a leading researcher in the areas of IoT and 5G for more than 16 years. He has been the principal investigator and project coordinator of various competitive European and national R&D projects and he has published more than 160 technical journals and conference papers, accumulating more than 3600 citations to date.


johan back profileJohan Bäck - Johan is Director of Business Development at Infinera and has an M.Sc. in Engineering Physics from Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan. He joined Infinera in 2001 and has contributed broadly to the productization of photonic integrated circuits, serving in a variety of roles in R&D, manufacturing, product management and sales. He’s currently focused on the market introduction of novel point-to-multipoint coherent XR optics.



Mehdi Bennis profileMehdi Bennis, University of Oulu - Dr Mehdi Bennis is a full (tenured) Professor at the Centre for Wireless Communications, University of Oulu, Finland and head of the intelligent connectivity and networks/systems group (ICON). His main research interests are in radio resource management, heterogeneous networks, game theory and distributed machine learning in 5G networks and beyond. He has published more than 200 research papers in international conferences, journals and book chapters. He has been the recipient of several prestigious awards including the 2015 Fred W. Ellersick Prize from the IEEE Communications Society, the 2016 Best Tutorial Prize from the IEEE Communications Society, the 2017 EURASIP Best paper Award for the Journal of Wireless Communications and Networks, the all-University of Oulu award for research, the 2019 IEEE ComSoc Radio Communications Committee Early Achievement Award and the 2020-2021 Clarviate Highly Cited Researcher by the Web of Science.

Siobhan Clarke profileSiobhán Clarke, CONNECT - Siobhán Clarke is Professor of Software Systems at Trinity College Dublin. Her research expertise is in software engineering models for the provision of smart and dynamic software services to urban stakeholders, addressing challenges in the engineering of dynamic software in ad hoc, mobile environments. She has >200 publications, with her team more recently publishing on topics relating to a middleware for resilient, QoS-aware service discovery and orchestration for mobile consumers/providers, and on service placement models at the edge.
Prof. Clarke is the founding Director of Future Cities, the Trinity Centre for Smart and Sustainable Cities, and leads the Enable Science Foundation Ireland Research Programme on Connecting Communities to Smart Urban Environments through the Internet of Things. She is a Principal Investigator in the CONNECT Research Centre. She recently joined the Communications of the ACM News Editorial Board.

Kit Colbert profileKit Colbert, VMware - Kit Colbert joined VMware in September 2003 (following an internship in 2002) and currently serves as senior vice president and chief technology officer. He is responsible for ensuring VMware’s long term technology leadership through research and innovation programs, with the primary goal of positively impacting and shaping the future of VMware, its ecosystem, and its customers. As CTO, Colbert’s will shape the technical vision for the company, and the transformation to a cloud and subscription-centric R&D organization. His oversight includes advancing research and development efforts, overseeing the VMware Engineering Services team, the Design/UX team and the company’s ESG commitments. Prior to September 2021, Colbert served in multiple roles, including VMware’s Cloud CTO, General Manager of VMware’s Cloud-Native Apps business, CTO for VMware’s End-User Computing Business, and as the lead architect for the VMware vRealize Operations Suite. Colbert joined VMware as the technical lead behind the creation, development and delivery of the vMotion and Storage vMotion features in VMware vSphere.

Luis Miguel Contreras profileLuis Miguel Contreras, Telefonica - Luis M. Contreras earned an M.Sc. degree on Telecommunications from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (1997), holds an M. Sc. on Telematics jointly from the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (2010), and a Ph.D. on Telematics from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (2021). Since August 2011 he is part of Telefónica I+D / Telefónica CTIO unit, working on 5G, SDN, virtualization, transport networks and their interaction with cloud and distributed services, as well as on interconnection topics, being active in several standardization for a (IETF, O-RAN, ETSI, etc). He is also part-time lecturer at the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid. Before the position in Telefónica he worked in Alcatel and Orange.


Falko Dressler profileFalko Dressler, TU Berlin - Falko Dressler is full professor and Chair for Telecommunication Networks at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, TU Berlin. He received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the Dept. of Computer Science, University of Erlangen in 1998 and 2003, respectively. Dr. Dressler has been associate editor-in-chief for IEEE Trans. on Mobile Computing and Elsevier Computer Communications as well as an editor for journals such as IEEE/ACM Trans. on Networking, IEEE Trans. on Network Science and Engineering, Elsevier Ad Hoc Networks, and Elsevier Nano Communication Networks. He has been chairing conferences such as IEEE INFOCOM, ACM MobiSys, ACM MobiHoc, IEEE VNC, IEEE GLOBECOM. He authored the textbooks Self-Organization in Sensor and Actor Networks published by Wiley & Sons and Vehicular Networking published by Cambridge University Press. He has been an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer as well as an ACM Distinguished Speaker. Dr. Dressler is an IEEE Fellow as well as an ACM Distinguished Member. He is a member of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech). He has been serving on the IEEE COMSOC Conference Council and the ACM SIGMOBILE Executive Committee. His research objectives include adaptive wireless networking (sub-6GHz, mmWave, visible light, molecular communication) and wireless-based sensing with applications in ad hoc and sensor networks, the Internet of Things, and Cyber-Physical Systems.

Frank Fitzek profileFrank Fitzek, TU Dresden - Frank H. P. Fitzek is a Professor and head of the “Deutsche Telekom Chair of Communication Networks” at TU Dresden coordinating the 5G Lab Germany. He is the spokesman of the DFG Cluster of Excellence CeTI. He received his diploma (Dipl.-Ing.) degree in electrical engineering from the University of Technology – Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) – Aachen, Germany, in 1997 and his Ph.D. (Dr.-Ing.) in Electrical Engineering from the Technical University Berlin, Germany in 2002 and became Adjunct Professor at the University of Ferrara, Italy in the same year. In 2003 he joined Aalborg University as Associate Professor and later became Professor. He co-founded several start-up companies starting with acticom GmbH in Berlin in 1999. He has visited various research institutes including Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), VTT, and Arizona State University. In 2005 he won the YRP award for the work on MIMO MDC and received the Young Elite Researcher Award of Denmark. He was selected to receive the NOKIA Champion Award several times in a row from 2007 to 2011. In 2008 he was awarded the Nokia Achievement Award for his work on cooperative networks. In 2011 he received the SAPERE AUDE research grant from the Danish government and in 2012 he received the Vodafone Innovation prize. In 2015 he was awarded the honorary degree “Doctor Honoris Causa” from Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BUTE). His current research interests are in the areas of wireless and 5G communication networks, network coding, cloud computing, compressed sensing, cross layer as well as energy efficient protocol design and cooperative networking.

Nada Golmie profileNada Golmie, NIST - Nada Golmie received her Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Maryland at College Park. Since 1993, she has been a research engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). She is currently the chief of the wireless networks division in the Communications Technology Laboratory. Her research in media access control and protocols for wireless networks led to over 100 technical papers presented at professional conferences, journals, and contributed to international standard organizations and industry led consortia. She is the author of "Coexistence in Wireless Networks: Challenges and System-level Solutions in the Unlicensed Bands," published by Cambridge University Press (2006). She is a member of the NIST Public Safety Communication Research program and leading the efforts on the simulation modeling and evaluation of LTE in support of public safety communications.

Chih Lin I profileChih-Lin I, China Mobile - Chih-Lin I is CMCC Chief Scientist of Wireless Technologies. She received Ph.D. EE from Stanford University. She has won 2005 IEEE ComSoc Stephen Rice Prize, 2018 IEEE ComSoc Fred W. Ellersick Prize, the 7th IEEE Asia-Pacific Outstanding Paper Award, and 2015 IEEE Industrial Innovation Award for Leadership and Innovation in Next-Generation Cellular Wireless Networks. She is the Chair of O-RAN Technical Steering Committee and an O-RAN Executive Committee Member, the Chair of FuTURE 5G/6G SIG, the Chair of WAIA (Wireless AI Alliance) Executive Committee, an Executive Board Member of GreenTouch, a Network Operator Council Founding Member of ETSI NFV, a Steering Board Member and Vice Chair of WWRF, a Steering Committee member and the Publication Chair of IEEE 5G and Future Networks Initiatives, the Founding Chair of IEEE WCNC Steering Committee, the Director of IEEE ComSoc Meetings and Conferences Board, a Senior Editor of IEEE Trans. Green Comm. & Networking, an Area Editor of ACM/IEEE Trans. Networking; Executive Co-chair of IEEE Globecom 2020, IEEE WCNC 2007, IEEE WOCC 2004 and 2000; a member of IEEE ComSoc SDB, SPC, and CSCN-SC, and a Scientific Advisory Board Member of Singapore NRF.


Organizing Committee
Ashutosh Dutta ProfileAshutosh Dutta, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab - Ashutosh Dutta is currently Chief 5G Strategist and JHU/APL Sabbatical Fellow at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Labs (JHU/APL), USA. He also serves as Chair for Electrical and Computer Engineering for Engineering Professional Program at JHU. His career, spanning more than 30 years, includes Director of Technology Security and Lead Member of Technical Staff at AT&T, CTO of Wireless at a Cybersecurity company NIKSUN, Inc., Senior Scientist in Telcordia Research, Director of Central Research Facility at Columbia University, adjunct faculty at NJIT, and Computer Engineer with TATA Motors. Ashutosh is IEEE Communications Society's Distinguished Lecturer for 2017-2020 and as an ACM Distinguished Speaker (2020-2022). Ashutosh currently serves as the founding co-chair for IEEE Future Networks Initiative and Member-At-Large for IEEE Communications Society. He also currently serves as the Chair for IEEE Industry Connection’s O-RAN activities. Ashutosh is a Distinguished Alumnus of NIT Rourkela with BS in Electrical Engineering, MS in Computer Science from NJIT, and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University under the supervision of Prof. Henning Schulzrinne. Ashutosh is a Fellow of IEEE and Distinguished member ACM.

Kaniz Mahdi profile2Kaniz Mahdi, VMware - Kaniz is Vice President of Distributed Edge, a new technology focus area she helped establish in the VMware Office of the CTO. She is leading a multi-faceted global team for user-centric research and co-innovation to unravel the complexities of Distributed Edge Cloud systems. The outputs of these research and co-innovation efforts will drive recommendations for VMware’s strategic evolution in this space. Prior to VMware, Kaniz held various technology leadership positions at Ericsson, Huawei, Ciena and Nortel. With 45+ patent grants, Kaniz has a stellar record of continuously pushing the envelope on new technologies. She is an inventor of essential technologies underpinning current Voice over LTE systems and has been instrumental in defining the 5G era landscape with disruptive technologies (e.g. SDN/NFV & O-RAN). Kaniz is the co-founder of the Open Grid Alliance and serves as chairperson of its executive board. She also serves on various other industry boards, e.g. ATIS NextG Alliance and 5G Americas, and is a member of the FCC Technological Advisory Council.

Meryem Simsek profileMeryem Simsek, VMware - Meryem Simsek (Senior Member, IEEE) received the Dipl.-Ing. degree in electrical engineering and the Ph.D. degree in reinforcement learning-based ICIC in LTE-Advanced heterogeneous networks information technology from the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, in 2008 and 2013, respectively. In 2013, she joined Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA, as a Post-Doctoral Scientist. Since 2014, she has been a Research Group Leader with the Technical University of Dresden, Dresden, Germany. In 2016, she joined the International Computer Science Institute, Berkeley, CA, USA, as a Senior Research Scientist. She was also a Visiting Researcher with UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA. In 2018, she joined Intel Labs to work on machine learning-based solutions for beyond 5G networks. She is currently a Chief Scientist with VMware. Her current research interests include wireless systems, self-organizing networks, machine learning, and intelligent networking. She was a recipient of the IEEE Communications Society Fred W. Ellersick Prize in 2015 and the N2Women Rising Stars in Computer Networking and Communications in 2019.

Luis Velasco profileLuis Velasco, Polytechnic University of Catalonia - Luis Velasco is a full professor at UPC and the Scientific Director of the Advanced Broadband Communications Center (CCABA). He received the M.Sc. degree in Physics from Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 1993 and the PhD degree from Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC) in 2009. He has co-authored more than 250 papers in peer-reviewed International Journals and Conferences, as well as two books related to Elastic Optical Networks. He served as an Associate Editor of the IEEE/OSA Journal of Optical Communications and Networking (JOCN) from 2015 to 2021, and is currently serving as an Associate Editor of MDPI Sensors, in the Ediorial Board of MDPI Telecom, and in the TPC of several international conferences as well as reviewer of international journals. He has participated in various IST/ICT FP-6, FP-7, and H2020 European research projects and now he is leading network automation activities in the H2020 B5G-OPEN, as well as in the MSCA EID projects REAL-NET and MENTOR. He received the ICREA Academia awards in engineering sciences in 2015 and 2020. His interests include intent-based networking, including monitoring, data analytics, and artificial intelligence, for autonomous beyond 5G and 6G networks and services.