Limitless Connectivity with Non-Terrestrial Networks: From 5G Evolution to 6G

Date and time: 
Thu, Dec 2 2021 - 12:00pm
Dr. Xingqin Lin
Ericsson Research, Santa Clara, CA, USA

Our vision is a world where limitless connectivity improves lives, redefines business, and pioneers a sustainable future. Since the completion of the first 5G specifications in 2018, there has been a substantial expansion of commercial 5G deployments happening throughout the world, with networks providing new communication capabilities and services set to transform society. Undoubtedly, the ongoing transformation will eventually give rise to challenges beyond what 5G can meet. In 2030, for instance, society will have been shaped by 5G for ten years, and new needs and services will have appeared. This calls for continued evolution towards limitless connectivity — following the pull from society’s requirements and the push from more advanced technological tools becoming available — that must be addressed for a 6G era around 2030.
Enabling the 5G system to support non-terrestrial networks (NTNs) has been one direction under exploration in 3GPP. NTN has become an umbrella term for any network that involves flying objects, including satellite communication networks, high altitude platform systems, air-to-ground networks, and unmanned aerial vehicles. We expect that NTNs will be one of the connectivity’s new frontiers on the path to 6G, complementing terrestrial networks to provide limitless connectivity everywhere, thus helping to bridge the digital divide. This talk will discuss the journey towards limitless connectivity from 5G evolution to 6G, focusing on NTNs.


Xingqin Lin is a Master Researcher and Standardization Delegate at Ericsson Research Silicon Valley. He is a member of the Ericsson NextGen Advisory Board, collaborating with Ericsson Executive Team on strategic projects. He is an expert in wireless communications and technology strategy. He has been a pivotal contributor to 5G NR, NB-IoT, and LTE standards. His pioneering work has led to strategic opportunities, products, and real-world deployments in the telecom industry, enabling major network transitions from 4G to 5G.
He works with academia to accelerate the translation of research into practice. He has been a frequent speaker, panelist, and technical contributor at conferences and workshops. He served as an editor of the IEEE Communications Letters from 2015-2018 and serves as an editor for the IEEE Network and IEEE Internet of Things Magazine. He has been acting as the Industry Liaison Officer for the IEEE ComSoc Emerging Technology Initiative on Aerial Communications.
He has garnered a number of prestigious awards, including the 2020 IEEE Communications Society Best Young Professional Award in Industry, the 2021 IEEE Vehicular Technology Society Early Career Award, and the 2021 IEEE Communications Society Fred W. Ellersick Prize. He is co-author of the book “Wireless Communications and Networking for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” and the lead editor of the book “5G and Beyond: Fundamentals and Standards.” He is an IET Fellow, an IEEE Senior Member, and an IET Fellow Assessor. He holds a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, USA.