5th IEEE Middle East & North Africa COMMunications Conference Breaking Boundaries: Pioneering the Next Era of Communication


Keynote Speakers

Walid Saad, Virginia Tech, USA

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)-Native Wireless Systems with Common Sense: A Journey to 6G and Beyond


Next-generation wireless systems, such as 6G and beyond, are expected to tightly embed artificial intelligence (AI) into their design, giving rise to what is termed AI-native wireless systems. Remarkably, despite significant academic, industrial, and standardization efforts dedicated to AI-native wireless systems in the past few years, even the very definition of such systems remains ambiguous. Presently, most endeavors in this domain represent incremental extensions of conventional "AI for wireless" paradigms, employing classical tools like autoencoders, diffusion models, or large-language models to replicate established wireless functionalities. However, such approaches suffer from inherent limitations, including the opaque nature of the adopted AI models, their tendency toward curve-fitting, reliance on extensive training data, energy inefficiency, and limited generalizability to new, unseen scenarios and out-of-domain/out-of-distribution data points. To surmount these challenges, in this talk, we unveil a bold, pioneering framework for the development of artificial general intelligence (AGI)-native wireless systems. We particularly show how the fusion of wireless systems, digital twins, and AI can catalyze a transformative, revolutionary paradigm shift in both wireless and AI technologies by conceptualizing a next-generation AGI architecture imbued with "common sense" capabilities, akin to human cognition. This architecture is envisioned to empower networks with reasoning, planning, and other human-like cognitive faculties such as imagination and deep thinking. We first define the technical tenets of common sense and, subsequently, we demonstrate how the proposed AGI architecture can instill a new level of generalizability, explainability, and reasoning into tomorrow’s wireless networks, liberating them from their conventional physical constraints. We then discuss how AGI-native wireless systems can unleash novel use cases such as digital twins with analogical reasoning, resilient experiences for cognitive avatars, and brain-level holographic experiences. Following the establishment of the foundational principles and components of AGI-native wireless systems, we take a significant stride forward by forging a link with the emerging concept of semantic communications. In doing so, we demonstrate how the integration of causal reasoning (a key component of our AGI vision) with semantic communication can usher in a new era of knowledge-driven, reasoning-capable AGI-native wireless systems. These systems represent a major departure from today’s data-driven, knowledge-agnostic models, offering enhanced sustainability and resilience in their design and operation. We present our recent key results, rooted in AI, theory of mind, digital twins, and game theory, laying the groundwork for the realization of AGI-native wireless systems, and illustrating how our designed framework reduces data volume in networks while enhancing reliability, crucial for next-generation wireless services like connected intelligence and holography. We conclude with a discussion on the exciting opportunities in this field that can help redefine the intersection of wireless communications and AI.


Walid Saad (S’07, M’10, SM’15, F’19) received his Ph.D degree from the University of Oslo, Norway in 2010. He is currently a Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech, where he leads the Network sciEnce, Wireless, and Security (NEWS) laboratory. He is also the Next-G Wireless Faculty Lead at Virginia Tech's Innovation Campus. His research interests include wireless networks (5G/6G/beyond), machine learning, game theory, security, UAVs, semantic communications, cyber-physical systems, and network science. Dr. Saad is a Fellow of the IEEE. He is also the recipient of the NSF CAREER award in 2013, and the Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in 2015. He was the (co-)author of twelve conference best paper awards at IEEE WiOpt in 2009, ICIMP in 2010, IEEE WCNC in 2012, IEEE PIMRC in 2015, IEEE SmartGridComm in 2015, EuCNC in 2017, IEEE GLOBECOM (2018 and 2020), IFIP NTMS in 2019, IEEE ICC (2020 and 2022), and IEEE QCE in 2023. He is the recipient of the 2015 and 2022 Fred W. Ellersick Prize from the IEEE Communications Society, of the IEEE Communications Society Marconi Prize Award in 2023, and of the IEEE Communications Society Award for Advances in Communication in 2023. He was also a co-author of the papers that received the IEEE Communications Society Young Author Best Paper award in 2019, 2021, and 2023. Other recognitions include the 2017 IEEE ComSoc Best Young Professional in Academia award, the 2018 IEEE ComSoc Radio Communications Committee Early Achievement Award, and the 2019 IEEE ComSoc Communication Theory Technical Committee Early Achievement Award. He has been annually listed in the Clarivate Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher List since 2019. He is the Editor-in-Chief for the IEEE Transactions on Machine Learning in Communications and Networking.

Merouane Debbah, Khalifa University, United Arab Emirates

TelecomGPT: Next Generation AI powered Network


The evolution of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) constitutes a turning point in reshaping the future of technology in different aspects. Wireless networks in particular, with the blooming of self-evolving networks, represent a rich field for exploiting GenAI and reaping several benefits that can fundamentally change the way how wireless networks are designed and operated nowadays. To be specific, large language models (LLMs), a subfield of GenAI, are envisioned to open up a new era of autonomous wireless networks, in which a multimodal large model trained over various Telecom data, can be fine-tuned to perform several downstream tasks, eliminating the need for dedicated AI models for each task and paving the way for the realization of artificial general intelligence (AGI)-empowered wireless networks. In this talk, we aim to unfold the opportunities that can be reaped from integrating LLMs into the Telecom domain. In particular, we aim to put a forward-looking vision on a new realm of possibilities and applications of LLMs in future wireless networks, defining directions for designing, training, testing, and deploying Telecom LLMs, and reveal insights on the associated theoretical and practical challenges.


Mérouane Debbah is Professor at Khalifa University of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi and founding Director of the KU 6G Research Center. He is a frequent keynote speaker at international events in the field of telecommunication and AI. His research has been lying at the interface of fundamental mathematics, algorithms, statistics, information and communication sciences with a special focus on random matrix theory and learning algorithms. In the Communication field, he has been at the key players the development of small cells (4G), Massive MIMO (5G) and Large Intelligent Surfaces (6G) technologies. In the AI field, he is known for his work on Large Language Models, distributed AI systems for networks and semantic communications. He received multiple prestigious distinctions, prizes and best paper awards (more than 35 best paper awards) for his contributions to both fields and according to research.com is ranked as the best scientist in France in the field of Electronics and Electrical Engineering. He is an IEEE Fellow, a WWRF Fellow, a Eurasip Fellow, an AAIA Fellow, an Institut Louis Bachelier Fellow and a Membre émérite SEE. His recent work led to the development of NOOR (upon it release, largest language model in Arabic) released in 2022 and Falcon LLM (upon its release, top ranked open source large language model) released in 2023. These two models have positioned the UAE as a global leader in the generative AI field.

Pascal Lorenz, University of Haute-Alsace, France

Advanced Architectures of Next Generation Wireless Networks


Emerging Internet Quality of Service (QoS) mechanisms are expected to enable widespread use of real time services such as VoIP and videoconferencing. Quality of Experience (QoE) is a subjective measure of a customer's experiences with a service. The "best effort" Internet delivery cannot be used for the new multimedia applications. New technologies and new standards are necessary to offer QoS/QoE for these multimedia applications. Therefore new communication architectures integrate mechanisms allowing guaranteed services as well as high rate communications. The emerging Internet architectures, differentiated services and integrated services, do not consider user mobility. QoS mechanisms enforce a differentiated sharing of bandwidth among services and users. Thus, there must be mechanisms available to identify traffic flows with different parameters, and to make it possible to charge the users based on requested quality. The integration of fixed and mobile wireless access into IP networks presents a cost effective and efficient way to provide seamless end-to-end connectivity and ubiquitous access in a market where the demand for mobile Internet services has grown rapidly and is predicted to generate billions of dollars in revenue. This keynote covers the issues of provisioning in heterogeneous networks and Internet access over future wireless networks. It discusses the characteristics of the Internet, mobility and provisioning in wireless and mobile IP networks. This keynote also covers routing, security, baseline architecture of the inter-networking protocols, end to end traffic management issues and QoS for Mobile/Ubiquitous/Pervasive Computing users.


Pascal Lorenz (lorenz@ieee.org) received his M.Sc. (1990) and Ph.D. (1994) from the University of Nancy, France. Between 1990 and 1995 he was a research engineer at WorldFIP Europe and at Alcatel-Alsthom. He is a professor at the University of Haute-Alsace, France, since 1995. His research interests include QoS, wireless networks and high-speed networks. He is the author/co-author of 3 books, 3 patents and 200 international publications in refereed journals and conferences. He was Technical Editor of the IEEE Communications Magazine Editorial Board (2000-2006), IEEE Networks Magazine since 2015, IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology since 2017, Chair of IEEE ComSoc France (2014-2020), Financial chair of IEEE France (2017-2022), Chair of Vertical Issues in Communication Systems Technical Committee Cluster (2008-2009), Chair of the Communications Systems Integration and Modeling Technical Committee (2003-2009), Chair of the Communications Software Technical Committee (2008-2010) and Chair of the Technical Committee on Information Infrastructure and Networking (2016-2017), Chair of IEEE/ComSoc Satellite and Space Communications Technical (2022-2023), IEEE R8 Finance Committee (2022-2023), IEEE R8 Conference Coordination Committee (2023). He has served as Co-Program Chair of IEEE WCNC'2012 and ICC'2004, Executive Vice-Chair of ICC'2017, TPC Vice Chair of Globecom'2018, Panel sessions co-chair for Globecom'16, tutorial chair of VTC'2013 Spring and WCNC'2010, track chair of PIMRC'2012 and WCNC'2014, symposium Co-Chair at Globecom 2007-2011, Globecom'2019, ICC 2008-2010, ICC'2014 and '2016. He has served as Co-Guest Editor for special issues of IEEE Communications Magazine, Networks Magazine, Wireless Communications Magazine, Telecommunications Systems and LNCS. He is Associate Editor for International Journal of Communication Systems (IJCS-Wiley), Journal on Security and Communication Networks (SCN-Wiley) and International Journal of Business Data Communications and Networking, Journal of Network and Computer Applications (JNCA-Elsevier). He is a senior member of the IEEE, IARIA fellow and member of many international program committees. He has organized many conferences, chaired several technical sessions and gave tutorials at major international conferences. He was IEEE ComSoc Distinguished Lecturer Tour during 2013-2014.

Important Dates

Paper Submission Deadline:

June 15, 2024 (extended August 15, 2024)

Notification of Acceptance:

August 15, 2024 (extended September 15, 2024)

Camera-Ready Submission:

September 03, 2024 (extended September 23, 2024)

Call for papers

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