In 2022, i2CAT joined CERCAGINYS, an initiative that combines the scientific and technical experimental facilities of the 41 CERCA centres in Catalonia, making its Virtual Reality, Augmented and Extended Reality Lab available through the CERCAGINYS platform.
i2CAT is currently significatively expanding its experimental infrastructure portfolio, leveraging 5 infrastructure projects recently awarded through the UNICO 6G I+D programme. Four of such projects were awarded at the end of 2023 and are still in its early administrative preparation phase, but the first one – called 6GEN – is already on its advanced design and early construction phase. 6GEN stands for “6G Experimental Infrastructure” and, once it is fully deployed, it wlil transforms i2CAT’s independent testbeds into a leading heterogeneous infrastructure for 5G+/6G research, ready to provide experimentation services to multiple researchers concurrently, open to i2CAT groups and the rest of the research ecosystem and innovation in 5G+ and 6G, equipped with the latest technology and capable of collaboration and interconnection with other infrastructures.
The 6GEN platform consists of the following individual components: Outdoor RAN (Radio Access Network); O-RAN and disruptive wireless infrastructure; Mobile core with indoor RAN; Programmable network infrastructure; Cloud continuum lab; NTN infrastructure (Non Terrestrial Networks); IoT infrastructure (Internet of Things); V2X infrastructure (Vehicle to Everything); XR (eXtended Reality) distributed infrastructure and Cybersecurity.
i2CAT is making 6GEN available through the CERCAGINYS platform, thus enabling the CERCA infrastructure community to leverage the 6G experimental infrastructure services provided by i2CAT. It is expected that the first external researchers will be able to access the 6GEN facility by the end of 2024 or beginning of 2025.