AT&T, Nvidia, Samsung America, Qualcomm and InterDigital threw their weight behind a 6G research project in the US, as the global battle to lead in wireless technology beyond 5G continues to heat up.

The centre at the University of Texas will go under the name of 6G@UT and aims to establish the groundwork for the new technology.

Each of the founding companies will sponsor at least two specific three-year projects, alongside working with academics on the development of advanced technologies. These include new sensing methods, wireless-specific machine learning algorithms and networking innovations.

Announcing the launch of the project, the University of Texas wireless networking and communications group noted the facility had been founded as an effort to “cement its leadership in wireless innovation” with new technologies including self-driving cars, flying taxis and holographic conferencing on the horizon.

It also noted part of the research would cover use of terahertz bands, which it expects will “allow carriers to better monitor the quality of their networks in different places, from office towers to busy downtown areas to far-flung rural locales”.

Next generation networks “will be loaded with radar, vision, audio, lidar, thermal, seismic and broadband software-defined radio sensors that will provide unprecedented situational awareness to applications and devices running on the network”, the university added.

The project is the latest move in the race to 6G with alliances of major corporations, governments and research facilities vying to lead on development of the new network technology, get a head start on developing use cases and shape the latest wireless technology.

Notable moves include US collaboration The Next G Alliance, an operator supported RISE-6G research project in the European Union and various state-backed R&D efforts in China.