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Industry sets out vision for 6G for 2030 and beyond

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Two of the main tasks of 6G, the next generation of mobile, will be to improve human communications and machine communications.

The industry’s Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance (NGMN) set out today what operators see as the main uses that will drive investment in 6G from 2030 onwards.

It has published a white paper – complied by leading operators, vendors and research institutes – outlining which 6G use cases they predict will emerge in the future decade.

NGMN CEO Anita Döhler (pictured) said: “Our 6G project is a true global collaboration among operators, vendors and research organisations as well as external stakeholders.”

The project leaders came from Bell Canada, China Mobile, UScellular and Vodafone.

Luke Ibbetson, Vodafone head of group R&D, said: “Vodafone is optimistic about how technology innovation can enhance the future and improve people’s lives. … We aim to build a digital society that enhances socio-economic progress, embraces everyone and does not come at the cost of our planet.”

The group identified four key topics after sifting through a total of 50 use cases.

  • Enhanced human communication can “have the potential to enrich human communications, such as immersive experience, telepresence and multi-modal interaction.

  • Enhanced machine communication reflects the growth in collaborative robotics, and the requirement for sensing the surrounding environment and the need for robots to communicate among themselves and with humans.

  • Enabling services includes use cases that require additional features, such as high accuracy location, mapping, environmental, or body sensing data.

  • Network evolution, fourthly, describes aspects related to the evolution of core technologies including artificial intelligence (AI) as a service, energy efficiency, and delivering ubiquitous coverage.

These predictions will feed into work by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for its Vision for 2030 and beyond, specifying future connectivity requirements, followed by work of standards development organisations.

The full white paper is here (PDF).