IEEE International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications
13–16 September 2021 // Virtual Conference // By 6G Flagship

6G for a Sustainable Future – What is missing today?

Mobile communications systemshave been the key drivers of the digital innovations. Looking ahead to 2030 and beyond, 6G is under definition as the next-generation mobile communications system. In particular, 6G is expected to serve as a distributed neural network that provides communication links to fuse the physical, biological and cyber worlds, truly ushering in an era of Intelligence-of-Everything in which everything will be sensed, connected, and intelligent. With such a vision, in addition to further boosting high data rate, low latency, and ultra-reliability communication experience, 6G shall also consider e new service scenarios, potential new customers and new ecosystems, as well as the type and number of connecting devices in a cost and energy efficient manner. Green and sustainable development in 6G is thus the core requirement and ultimate goal of network and terminal designs. It is not just a nice-to-have feature; rather, it will be a make-or-break requirement for 6G mobile networks. On the other hand, with the increasing new capabilities embedded, 6G shall continue to address the challenges of the mankind and facilitate the realization of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) defined by the United Nation. In this panel, we aim at providing an interactive platform for industry and academic to timely exchange visions, key technical challenges and research directions at the beginning of 6G definition towards the sustainable development of 6G itself as well as its role serving as a tool to help improve the sustainable development of the whole society.


  1. What arethe requirementsand new dimensionsforthe sustainable development of 6G mobile communication system? And how can 6G help improve the sustainable development, e.g. protecting the natural environment and improving society good?
  2. What will the potential new capabilities of 6G (e.g. convergence of sensing, computing with communication, integration of non-terrestrial and terrestrial network) work for the sustainable development goals? What are the potential new performance indicators to reflect these sustainable design requirements and how to develop new methodology to evaluate them?
  3. What are the key technologies for green communication network design and how would they advance in 6G? How to carry out end-to-end energy efficient design with the currently layered standardization organizations?
  4. What are the key 6G technologies to connect the remaining 3.5 billion people that are not connected today? How to guarantee that 6G can benefit the rural and underdeveloped world instead of creating a larger digital divide?
  5. In the year 2030 and beyond, are human users still the major customers or machines and automated processes without direct human intervention? What will be the difference to enable a sustainable future with when machine type of communications become dominant?


Wen Tong, Huawei, Canada, email:

List of Participants

Luke Ibbetson, Vodafone, UK, email:

Eric Hardouin, Orange, France, email:

Patrick Waldemar, Telenor, Norway, email:

Zhisheng Niu, Tsinghua University, China, email:

Note: An additional participant from academia is under invitation (to be confirmed).


Wen Tong is the CTO, Huawei Wireless. He is the head of Huawei wireless research. In 2011, Dr. Tong was appointed the Head of Communications Technologies Labs of Huawei, currently, he is the Huawei 5G chief scientist and leads Huawei’s 10-year-long 5G wireless technologies research and development. Prior to joining Huawei in 2009, Dr. Tong was the Nortel Fellow and head of the Network Technology Labs at Nortel. He joined the Wireless Technology Labs at Bell Northern Research in 1995 in Canada. Dr. Tong is industry recognized leader in invention and standardization of advanced wireless technologies, he is the key contributor to 3GPP since its inception. Dr. Tong was elected as a Huawei Fellow and an IEEE Fellow. He was the recipient of IEEE Communications Society Industry Innovation Award for “the leadership and contributions in development of 3G and 4G wireless systems” in 2014, and IEEE Communications Society Distinguished Industry Leader Award for “pioneering technical contributions and leadership in the mobile communications industry and innovation in 5G mobile communications technology” in 2018. He is also the recipient of R.A. Fessenden Medal. For the past three decades, he had pioneered fundamental technologies from 1G to 5G wireless with more than 490 granted US patents. Dr. Tong is a Fellow of Canadian Academy of Engineering, and he also serves as Board of Director of WiFi Alliance. He is based in Ottawa, Canada.

Luke Ibbetson has been with Vodafone since 1996 and currently leads the Vodafone Group Research and Development organisation, responsible for all aspects of future research including trials of emerging / disruptive technologies, new industry partnerships and the creation of future revenue engines through advanced technology. Luke is an active participant in Industry Initiatives including 5GAA (Board member), Chairman of the NGMN 5G Board Committee, Advisory Board for UK TechWorks, and Board member for several venture backed new technology companies in which Vodafone has invested. Luke is a proud pioneer of Narrow Band IoT technology and currently shaping Vodafone’s thinking on 6G. Luke is a passionate supporter of innovative thinking, helping to create new opportunities for technology to change lives and society for the better.

Eric Hardouin is the director of the “Ambient Connectivity” research domain of Orange Labs, which investigates future access and transport networks and technologies, as well as related business models. Eric received his Ph.D. degree in signal processing and telecommunications from Telecom Bretagne and the University of Rennes 1, France, in 2004. Since 2004, he has been with Orange Labs, where he has conducted or supervised research on interference mitigation for mobile networks. Between 2008 and 2013 he represented Orange in the physical layer standardization group of 3GPP (RAN WG1) for HSPA, LTE and LTE-Advanced. From 2012 to 2015, Eric led the research on wireless networks in Orange Labs. Eric had a leading role in the NGMN 5G White Paper, as co-lead of the work on 5G requirements.

Patrick Waldemar is VP Telenor Research, Telenor Group. Patrick Waldemar joined Telenor in 2002 and is Vice President in Telenor Research. He has more than 20 years of management experience and education within Strategic Management, Strategic Marketing and Information Technology. He holds a Ph.D. in Telecommunication from NTNU and a Master of Management from Oslo Business School (BI). He has experience from research & development in telecommunications and the oil industry, software development and strategic management work. Over the last 8 years, Patrick has been head of Telenor’s research on next generation network technologies focusing on 5G and 6G. Previously he has been head of development in Canal Digital.

Zhisheng Niu graduated from Beijing Jiaotong University, China, in 1985, and got his M.E. and D.E. degrees from Toyohashi University of Technology, Japan, in 1989 and 1992, respectively. During 1992-94, he worked for Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., Japan, and in 1994 joined with Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, where he is now a professor at the Department of Electronic Engineering. His major research interests include queueing theory and traffic engineering, wireless communications and mobile Internet, vehicular communications and smart networking, and green communication and networks. Dr. Niu has been serving IEEE Communications Society since 2000, first as Chair of Beijing Chapter (2000-2008) and then as Director of Asia-Pacific Board (2008-2009), Director for Conference Publications (2010-2011), Chair of Emerging Technologies Committee (2014-2015), and Director for Online Contents (2018-2019). He has also served as editor of IEEE Wireless Communication (2009-2013) and associate Editor-in-Chief of IEEE/CIC joint publication China Communications (2012-2016), and currently serving as Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Trans. Green Commun. & Networks (2020-2022). He received the Outstanding Young Researcher Award from Natural Science Foundation of China in 2009, Best Paper Awards from IEEE Communication Society Asia-Pacific Board in 2013 and from Journal of Communications and Information Networks (JCIN) in 2019, Distinguished Technical Achievement Recognition Award from IEEE Communications Society Green Communications and Computing Technical Committee in 2018, and Harold Sobol Award for Exemplary Service to Meetings & Conferences from IEEE Communication Society in 2019. He was selected as a distinguished lecturer of IEEE Communication Society (2012-2015) as well as IEEE Vehicular Technologies Society (2014-2018). He is a fellow of both IEEE and IEICE.