US operators and vendors gather to plot course for 6G mobile

US operators and vendors gather to plot course for 6G mobile

03 September 2020 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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AT&T and Verizon as well as major vendors and the US regulator are to hold one of the industry’s first big conferences to map the way to the sixth generation of mobile.

The 6G symposium is being organised by mobile technology research and development company InterDigital.

Doug Castor, senior director at the R&D organisation, said: “A collaborative, yet competitive, ecosystem of diverse innovation is crucial for driving future wireless technologies like 6G. The goal of the symposium is to spark a discussion that features key players in the space and begin the process of defining a clear vision for 6G.”

One of the keynote speakers is Monisha Ghosh (pictured), who became chief technology officer of the Federal Communications Commission at the start of 2020. A former professor at the University of Chicago, she is a specialist in spectrum sharing, millimetre waves, analytics for healthcare and low-power sensor networks.

The news comes on the day that South Korea announced plans to launch a 6G pilot in 2026

The virtual conference will explore the demand and opportunities for 6G-enabling technologies such as novel air interfaces, new network architectures and killer apps, said the organisers.

Those taking part will also consider “the strategic, technical and regulatory barriers to developing a 6G roadmap and the effort to develop a community-agreed definition of key performance indicators”.   

Speakers include Mazin Gilbert, VP of advanced technology at AT&T, and representatives of vendors such as Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia – via its Bell Labs – as well as Parallel Wireless, Raytheon and Samsung. Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo will also take part.

Tommaso Melodia, director of the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, said: “After observing the evolution of 5G technology as a national infrastructure priority, we decided that now was the right time to develop a new 6G platform, which will be the focal point for national and global information exchange among technologists, policy makers and futurists.”