December 7—Nokia will lead a consortium of companies and universities in a sixth-generation mobile networking development initiative called Hex-X. Ericsson, Intel, and Finland’s University of Oulu are also taking part in the project, which is funded by the European Union. The group aims to create a long-term strategic outline for 6G technology in time for its launch in 2030.
Telecommunication giants and other institutions have already started researching potential applications for the next generation mobile data networking standard.
What is 6G?
In broad strokes, 6G is the wireless technology that will supplant 5G as it is replacing 4G.
As many carriers have only recently begun deploying their 5G networks, its successor is still in early development. At present, its precise radio frequency and data transmission rates have not been defined. However, Hex-X has made it its mission to develop access, governance, and architecture technologies for 6G.
The organization anticipates 5G will usher in greater integration of wireless products, services, and equipment in everyday life. The group believes trillions of new connected devices coming online, and surging data consumption rates will necessitate more robust networks that can support bitrates of “hundreds of Gbps to Tbps.”
Because of its societal importance, Hex-X wants to ensure 6G can properly supporting a post-digitalization society.
That means crafting methodologies, radio access equipment, and frameworks that will allow for terabyte-level wireless throughput with virtually no lag. The group also wants to make certain 6G is ecologically sustainable, highly secure, and accessible to the entire world.
Owing to the project’s massive scope, Hex-X expects it will take a decade to produce its new platforms, standards, and architectures. But since it counts some of the world’s most advanced technology corporations and forward-thinking and diversity among its members, its goals seem attainable. The consortium’s efforts to make 6G as dependable and accessible as possible are especially laudable given that COVID-19 exposed the scale of the modern digital divide.
Potential 6G Innovations
Because sixth-generation networks will not launch until around 2030, it is hard to say what innovations the technology will enable right now. That said, researchers have speculated that 6G will make artificial intelligence (AI) considerably more useful.
For instance, Jacobs University Bremen scientists Razvan-Andrei Stoica and Giuseppe Abreu speculated the technology could make self-driving cars a reality. A vehicle-based AI-powered by 6G could seamlessly navigate all real-world driving situations because it could communicate with other cars, civic infrastructure, and its maker’s network seamlessly.
New York University Tandon School of Engineering Professor Ted Rappaport believes 6G could significantly advance sensing and imaging technology. He noted the innovation could enable the development of precision air quality, personal health, and gas sensors. Rappaport also asserted the standard might power a new level of wireless cognition that would optimize remote robotic control.
The notion of next-generation telepresence is of particular interest to South Korean technology giant Samsung.
This July, the corporation outlined plans to develop “extended reality (XR)” headsets that would offer 16 million pixel displays. That means the company wants to give individuals the ability to have virtual experiences with human retina level clarity.
Samsung also intends to enable consumers to visit one space while physically occupying another location.
Essentially, an individual would put on XR headgear and be virtually transported to a digital replica of a real-world area. The user could remotely interact with the other space, like their office, via a sophisticated robot. The public should be able to try the company’s revolutionary 6G products around 2028 if its development process is successful.
Although the future is unwritten, organizations like Hex-X and companies like Samsung aim to make tomorrow vastly different from today.