Disruptive research

Foundational technologies to set future standards


Disruptive research

Fundamental research underpins Nokia Bell Labs’ mission to innovate the technologies and make the discoveries that improve human existence. Our research laid the foundations the for digital world we live in, the software that powers that world and the communications networks that connect it. Bell Labs research today follows many diverse trajectories, though the target always remains the same: devising the technologies that will have the most sustained impact on the service providers, enterprises and industries Nokia serves.

Disruptive research areas


Future of security

As the nature and scale of information networks evolve, so do the nature and scale of security threats. We are developing innovative end-to-end security solutions that will protect data in an increasingly intricate and complex world of interconnected networks, hyper-distributed cloud and industrial IoT systems that could potentially expose billions of points of vulnerability. To that end, we are building zero-trust architectures that span hardware infrastructure, cloud applications and DevSecOps technologies to provide continuous proactive security monitoring and mitigation of both existing and new threats.


Future of robotics

The robots of the future will be deployed both on a massive scale and on a very intimate scale. We are innovating the orchestration technologies that will allow a multitude of diverse, low-cost robots to work together efficiently and flexibly with minimal or no human guidance. Simultaneously, we are developing the intent-based technologies enabling a new generation of cooperative robots. These co-bots will attend to the personal needs of individuals and allow them to program them to perform complex tasks through the use of simple, intuitive commands.


Future networks

As the 6G era dawns, the focus of the network is shifting away from data connectivity and devices, and re-centering on human beings. To reflect this shift, we are transforming the nature of networks, evolving them into the dynamic, deterministic, analytic, autonomous, ultra-secure, ultra-reliable systems that will merge the digital, physical and biological worlds.


Future of artificial intelligence and machine learning

We are building a new generation of AI/ML systems and algorithms that will not only achieve human levels of intelligence but also far surpass humans’ ability to understand the physical world. AI will no longer be an elevated technology used only by experts. It will augment people from every walk of life, helping them solve simple and complex problems they encounter each day through intuitive, easily accessible interfaces.


Future of digital/physical interactions

We are developing invisible sensing and contextualization technologies that monitor, map and interpret the physical world, including our own inner physiologies. These technologies will open a new world of interaction modalities beyond text, audio and video; give us an unprecedented level of understanding about ourselves and the environments we occupy; and unlock the ability to manipulate our environment through mixed-reality means.

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Future of data and computing

Databases are evolving from passive systems to active systems, within which data lives a dynamic “life.” We are reimagining the fundamental ways in which data is represented, structured, processed and stored to create a new generation of computing systems to meet these challenges. To that end, we are investigating new analog computing paradigms, including quantum computing and Ising machines.

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Autonomous software systems

We are innovating software that will determine human intent and execute the appropriate actions to achieve those intents. These systems will gather data, extract insights and deduce context about complex tasks or problems, and they will ultimately be able to devise and implement solutions to those problems – all without direct human guidance. Furthermore, these fully autonomous software systems will be able to self-assemble and self-morph, allowing them to adjust their capabilities for any given context or environment.


Shannon-optimized networking

We are devising the technologies that will push network capacity ever closer to the fundamental theoretical limits defined by Claude Shannon. Future wireless and optical systems will have the flexibility to adapt at a moment’s notice to handle any application or communications task, while delivering universal, pervasive access anywhere on the globe. Those architectures will be hyper-efficient, driving down the costs of delivering information to meet the growing, insatiable demand for capacity and connectivity.