OpenRIT Workshop

The Open Research Infrastructures and Toolkits for 5G/6G R&D (OpenRIT 6G) Workshop was hosted from 19-20 March 2024 in Cape Town, South Africa.

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The field of telecommunications is undergoing a significant transformation due to the digital revolution impacting various industries. This change is characterized by increased complexity in systems, diverse use cases, evolving network architectures, shifting business
models, and the rise of open ecosystems. From a technical standpoint, notable developments include the growing influence of network virtualization, modular network design, software-driven networking, and the integration of artificial intelligence. These advancements are particularly evident in the progression of mobile networks towards 5G Advanced and 6G. Additionally, the trend towards private mobile networks tailored for specific industries, coupled with flexible network deployment and operational models, is spurring innovation in networking. These advancements place substantial demands on research and development infrastructure globally, particularly for various 6G
research initiatives. International collaboration is becoming increasingly crucial for the early harmonization of ideas, concepts, architectures, and related protocols and interfaces. This collaboration is essential for the efficient standardization of mobile networks for
5G Advanced and 6G. Moreover, the emphasis on open, vendor-neutral technology and application testbeds, along with supporting software toolkits, is key to
education and skill development. This focus is evident in different regional research centers, which aim to foster local ecosystem development. There is also a growing interest in small-scale, portable testbeds that allow students to engage with the latest networking
technologies in their own environments. This approach is particularly important for developing countries to align with the 6G vision of creating a network for everyone and to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). This exclusive, invitation-only workshop aimed to unite leading researchers to synchronize their visions and roadmaps for their 5G/6G labs and to accelerate international cooperation in key areas of mutual interest. To facilitate this, each speaker submitted five points of interest for discussion in the afternoon sessions. From these submissions, the top six topics were selected for in-depth discussion.