A roadmap for the development and deployment of 6G services has been published by a mobile industry alliance, aiming to kick start a wave of cellular innovation.
The Next G Alliance is an industry initiative comprising more than 80 organisations and 600 experts from industry, government and academia. The Roadmap to 6G is the first significant result of its activities. The document aims to put North America at the heart of 6G developments, but acknowledges that research efforts are also under way in Europe, China and Japan.
The document calls 6G a ‘trillion dollar opportunity’ for the mobile industry. It also seeks to establish priorities such as the advancement of trust, security and resilience, and describes an enhanced digital experience spanning the world’s entire mobile infrastructure featuring AI-driven distributed cloud and communications systems. It additionally covers possible cost efficiencies and sustainability goals.
“Beyond its technical contributions, the roadmap shows how 6G can benefit society and industries in a variety of sectors,” said Susan Miller, president and CEO of ATIS, the industry body behind the Next G Alliance. “North America will become an epicenter of innovation-driven economic growth in a new era of wireless.”
Although it is too early to predict the final form the 6G standard will take, it seems likely that 6G networks will deliver huge advances in speed, capacity and low latency while being much more intelligent and reliable than earlier generations. It will deliver superior mobile broadband but also enable advanced services such as immersive extended reality (XR), mobile holograms and digital twins.
The 6G era will extend the limited processing capability of mobile devices and see better integration of intelligence into the network. There’s also talk of 6G delivering 100 times the capacity of 5G and supporting 10 million devices per square kilometre.
Signals would extend 6G coverage well above ground level, taking its possibilities into the skies, space and underwater. Applications would be enabled in areas like intelligent sensing, positioning, edge computing and high-definition imaging.
“We are excited to publish the first version of the Next G Alliance report, the Roadmap to 6G,” said Amitava Ghosh, Next G Alliance National 6G Roadmap Working Group Chair and Nokia Fellow, Nokia Strategy & Technology. “The report is the outcome of tireless effort from Roadmap Working Group leadership team and its members with support from other Next G Alliance Working Groups.”
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