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For nearly a century, Bell Labs has been revolutionizing the telecommunications industry from its headquarters in Murray Hill, New Jersey.

Nokia Bell Labs is using Artificial Intelligence and drones to help AeroFarms revolutionize vertical farming

The facility has been a hotbed of innovation for the renowned industrial research institute. Perhaps Bell Labs’ greatest brainchild, the transistor, was first demonstrated there in 1947. Groundbreaking inventions in cellular communications, radio astronomy and information theory followed. Then came the solar cell, the laser, the seminal Telstar satellite, the charge-coupled device and the Unix computer operating system that laid the foundation for the internet – a dizzying string of discoveries and developments that resulted in nine Nobel Prizes and five Turing Awards.

It’s fitting that an institute so influential in shaping modern communications would share a name with the inventor of the telephone. Bell Labs was established in 1925, when engineering departments in AT&T and Western Electric merged into one entity – Bell Telephone Laboratories Inc. It later came under the auspices of Lucent Technologies, Alcatel-Lucent and finally Nokia in 2016.

Today, it continues to capture the imagination with projects such as building an LTE/4G Network on the Moon and ushering in the era of 5G-Advanced, 6G and the Industrial Metaverse with research that will merge the human, physical and digital worlds in the decade to come.

The Transistor was discovered in 1947 at Bell Labs and its researchers received the Nobel Prize in 1956. This tiny device has gone on to revolutionize the entire electronics industry

Nokia Bell Labs has left a footprint on the disruptive innovations that created the foundation of information and communications
technologies. It now entails two sister organizations: Bell Labs Core Research and Bell Labs Solutions Research. The former aims to create game-changing innovations that define the future of networks while the latter focuses on advanced technologies, architectures, systems and applications beyond Nokia’s current product and solutions portfolio. Together, they aim to solve the biggest challenges involved in digital transformation toward the next generation of technologies.

Even with its global impact, Nokia Bell Labs conducts research and projects that benefit the New Jersey region.

In nearby Newark, for instance, Nokia Bell Labs partnered with AeroFarms, a pioneer in vertical farming, to provide a continuous monitoring solution to track millions of plants. This new approach to agriculture merges AI/ML, computer vision, wireless networking and drone orchestration and could change sustainable food production.

Peter Vetter, President of Bell Labs Core Research and Thierry Klein, President of Bell Labs Solutions Research in front of the iconic Nokia Bell Labs headquarters in Murray Hill, New Jersey

Nokia Bell Labs research out of Murray Hill is also behind cutting-edge robot orchestration research that is currently being deployed in factories. This allows various robots from different manufacturers and with different functions to work on manufacturing floors in coordination with each other, and with human factory workers, in a safe, synchronized and productive manner. This research provides a much-needed conductor to the orchestra of machines that make up the modern factory – and offers a blueprint for the industrial automation of the Metaverse that Nokia Bell Labs is spearheading.

Similarly, research in New Jersey into Distributed Massive MIMO has created a novel solution to significantly increase uplink capacity and speeds in 5G networks that will pave the way for the 5G-Advanced era. A prototype has been deployed and tested at AT&T Labs and simulations have shown an increase in 5G uplink capacity between 60% and 90%. This technology is the bridge to 5G-Advanced, where by 2025 the 5G system will evolve to its fullest potential and extend to new devices, industries and places. We are laying the foundation through disruptive research that will lead to the 6G era, expected around 2030, when we will see the fusing of our physical and digital worlds.

These and other innovations are at the heart of the Nokia Bell Labs vision to spread its technological advancements to the New Jersey area and beyond.

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