In order to prepare for the next generation of networks the IEEE along with the Future Networks Initiative has announced the IEEE International Network Generations Roadmap (INGR), First Edition. The INGR is designed to identify trends and reduce technical and engineering risks associated with developing and deploying next generation networks through 2030. 

“The International Network Generations Roadmap effort is part of the IEEE Future Networks Initiative that recognizes networking is larger than a single technology, standard, organization, or region,” said Ashutosh Dutta, co-chair of IEEE Future Networks and senior scientist at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab. “IEEE Future Networks is collaborating with the world’s researchers, scientists, engineers, and policymakers from industry, academia, and governments to solve the challenges and reveal the opportunities associated with current and future networks.”

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According to the organizations, one of the biggest network changes is 5G technology, which will impact connectivity, the tactile Internet, Internet of Things, connected vehicles, mobile edge computing, and more. The INGR will provide guidelines for operators, regulators, manufacturers, researchers, government and other interested parties involved in developing for 5G and eventually 6G ecosystems. 

The first edition of the roadmap includes: applications and services; edge automation platform; millimeter wave and signal processing; hardware for mmWave; massive MIMO, satellite; standardization building blocks; security; and testbed. 

In addition, the INGR will be augmented by six white papers, expected to be released early this year. The white papers will include deployment, optics, systems optimization, energy efficiency, AI and ML, and connecting the unconnected topics. 

“The purpose of the International Network Generations Roadmap (INGR) is to stimulate an industry-wide dialogue to address the many facets and challenges of the development and deployment of 5G in a well-coordinated and comprehensive manner, while also looking beyond 5G. Future network technologies (5G, 6G, etc.) are expected to enable fundamentally new applications that will transform the way humanity lives, works, and engages with its environment. INGR, created by experts across industry, government and academia, is designed to help guide operators, regulators, manufacturers, researchers, and other interested parties involved in developing these new communication technology ecosystems  by laying out a technology roadmap with 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year horizons,” the IEEE wrote on its website.