6G is widely predicted to be commercially available around 2030. China, the U.S., Japan, and European countries have already released their 6G development plans in quick succession. Meanwhile, experts in the field of communication agree that cooperation and sharing are vital for the development of 6G.
Future expectations of 6G
At present, 6G development plans released by the countries concerned, have elicited a wide range of opinions. One reason for this is that the currently proposed visions and candidate technologies include the wish list of several future generations, said Bi Qi, Chairman of the Global 6G Conference Program Committee and Chief Expert of China Telecom. He summarized these visions as moving in eight directions including: instant and fast, flexible and open, green and affordable, secure and trustworthy, simple and integrated, holographic and multidimensional, ubiquitous beyond 2D, as well as intelligent by design.
Wu Jiangxing, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said that 6G will be an important supporting technology for smart network infrastructure beyond 2030, and a new paradigm that supports multi-objective sustainable and collaborative development should be opened up for 6G. He pointed out that research teams in China, Japan,the U.S. and the European Union have already put great efforts into 6G R&D. All of these countries have all emphasized the necessity to consider the simultaneous improvement and optimization of multiple objectives such as communication, security, energy consumption, service, and efficiency.
Technology is ahead of demand
6G is moving forward at a steady pace from demand to standards, while the world has just started the commercialization of 5G networks. This begs the question: Is that appropriate for humans to develop 6G at present? The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) fellow You Xiaohu, also the Chief scientist at China's Purple Mountain Laboratories, noted that 6G is not inconsistent with the development of the existing 5G, although it is a new generation of mobile communication for the period after 2030. In fact, the development of the existing 5G is laying the foundation for the development of 6G. Studying 6G is actually for the purpose of driving the development of the existing 5G. "Demands may be lagging, but never absent," said Hong Wei, professor of School of Information Science and Technology at Southeast University. Hong's view is based on the development of wireless communications. "Sometimes the technology may lag behind the demand, but more often than that, the technology is ahead of the demand. We have faced the same problem when developing 3G, 4G and 5G."
The world needs a globally unified 6G standard
It's inevitable to establish a globally unified standard for 6G in light of the history of mobile communication. According to Hong, to achieve ubiquitous connectivity in the 6G era, we should put equal stress on both integrations of different industries and continuous evolution. For terrestrial mobile communication networks, 6G should be based on the technological evolution of 5G. For space-based satellite networks, all the countries in the world should strengthen cooperation to develop advanced protocol standards as well as protocol standards for integration with terrestrial networks as soon as possible.
Bi noted that countries around the world have begun to promote 6G-related technology and research. The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) has brought together dozens of global technology giants such as Qualcomm, Samsung, Ericsson and Apple to form the Next G Alliance. Chinese companies have not yet been invited to join. "The success of the mobile industry relies on the existence of the global ecosystem. Establishing a unified set of global standards is a prerequisite for the success of 6G," he said.