Finland, Japan, China all also starting to think about 6G
The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) announced a call to action and shared its vision for collaboration across government, academia and industry to promote U.S. leadership on the path to 6G.
ATIS noted that the timeline for 6G development has already begun, as today’s investments in 5G networks, devices and applications already point toward the future opportunities for 6G. The entity highlighted that collaborative steps and an aligned commitment between government and industry was key to ensure the U.S. maintains a competitive technology position in 5G networks today and 6G networks in the future.
“COVID-19 has brought unprecedented economic and public health challenges, and it has also shone a spotlight on the critical role of communications networks in our daily lives, as the connective fabric between people,” said Susan Miller, President and CEO, ATIS. “While innovation can be triggered in reaction to current market needs, technology leadership at a national level requires an early commitment and development that addresses U.S. needs as well as a common vision and set of objectives.”
ATIS’ Call to Action promotes a holistic approach, beginning with innovative research and development that addresses U.S. needs, a commitment to standardization, and full-scale commercialization.
The entity said that the result of this initiative will be the introduction of 6G services and technologies that position the U.S. as the global leader for the next decade and beyond.
“While the realities of different geographies, populations, economies and government oversight will always influence global market demands, it is the leadership of ideas coupled with the commitment of the public, private and academic sectors that will deliver the power and benefits of U.S. technological leadership,” said Mike Nawrocki, Vice President, Technology and Solutions, ATIS. “Industry and government have started collaboration to create the 6G future, but this work must be amplified now to position the U.S. as the leader in telehealth, smart agriculture, distance learning, digitized commerce and artificial intelligence.”
Other nations have also kicked off initial efforts in the race to future 6G technologies. In November 2019, China also officially started researching 6G technology.
According to reports by Chinese state media, government ministries and research institutes had initial meetings with the aim of establishing a national 6G technology research and development group. The Ministry of Science and Technology said that it will set up two working groups to carry out the 6G research activities.
Also, Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE have also started research on future 6G technologies.
Also in November, the University of Oulu, in Finland, published what is claimed to be the world’s first 6G whitepaper, outlining the key drivers, research requirements and challenges for this technology.
The report outlines a tentative roadmap towards ‘ubiquitous wireless intelligence’ for 2030. “The bottom line of 6G is data,” said Matti Latva-aho, director of 6G Flagship at the University of Oulu and co-editor of the whitepaper. “The way in which data is collected, processed, transmitted and consumed within the wireless network should drive 6G development.”
Earlier this year, the Japanese government announced plans to put together a comprehensive strategy regarding future “6G” wireless communications networks, and it already set up a panel to start discussions on the topic.
The 6G panel will discuss and analyze technology development, potential utilization of this future technology, as well as methods and policies.
Japan’s 6G panel will include representatives of the private sector as well as university researchers and will hear opinions from a variety of industries in order to study potential challenges.
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