When many people in the world are still wondering how long it will take to build a 5G network, and what this might mean for their economy, a group of telecom researchers are looking further afield: 6G.
In Levi, Finland, 250 researchers will gather together and they are participating in a global summit on 6G wireless standards. This summit will focus on the most basic issues: What is 6G? Why does the world need 6G?
Ari Pouttu, a professor from the University of Oulu in Finland, said: “I don’t know what 6G is. No one knows what this is.”
This is the same as the deputy director of the “Finnish 6G flagship” project for the straightforward evaluation of 6G. As part of an interview with the region’s technology ecosystem, Pouttu gave an introduction to our team of journalists during a recent interview with the University of Oulu.
Finland has designated Oulu on the Baltic coast about 5 hours north of Helsinki as the center of the 6G project, as Oulu has a historic connection with Nokia and brings together researchers like Pouttu who are constructive to the 5G standard. . The project will be implemented over the next eight years and will be worth approximately $285 million, of which about half will come from public funding and the other half will be raised by industry partners.
These efforts are just beginning, if not the most unlikely supporters of the 6G project suddenly focus on these efforts, as in the past, these efforts are likely to only stay in the academic discussion.
I want to implement 5G and even 6G technology in the US as soon as possible. It is stronger, faster, and smarter than existing standards. American companies must step up their efforts or they will fall behind. We have no reason to fall behind in this piece.
- Donald Trump February 21, 2019
Although Trump’s remarks have been widely ridiculed, 6G is still undefined, and it is not defined at least for the next 10 years or more, but 6G is more than just a plot in science fiction.
Today, the 5G network is just beginning to launch. As telecom operators seek to recover huge investments in 4G LTE infrastructure, the current 4G LTE standard will still dominate in the next few years. Pouttu expects that the current 4G network will not fully realize its full potential until around 2025.
At the same time, operators are pushing 5G cautiously. On the one hand, Pouttu said that some basic standards were developed much faster than expected, and the research team was surprised. On the other hand, the introduction of 5G will be much more expensive than 4G because the signal can be transmitted at very short distances and requires more intensive equipment to transmit signals. The cost of capital will be staggeringly high, and the business model that justifies these investments is still ambiguous.
Pouttu said that when 5G became the dominant network, he expected this to be the most transformational leap since the 2G network evolved into a 3G network. Compared to the 4G theoretical maximum speed of 1 Gbps, 5G not only promises a theoretical speed of 20 Gbps, but also no delay, and it supports closer connections in a smaller area.
Coupled with the advancement of the so-called “edge computing” technology, which will drive more smart products to the terminal equipment, the 5G era is due to its ability to make smart cities, smart factories, self-driving cars, unrestricted VR streaming, etc. Probably promoted.
Pouttu said that the next question he studied was another version of the same problem he had studied for decades: “Since we have 3G, why do we need 4G? Since we have 4G, why should we still have 5G?”
Therefore, he said that the next standard study will continue, he tried to find out the answer to this question: Why do we need 6G?
He said: “We want to see what 5G left, what is 5G is not solved.”
The most obvious starting point for 6G is speed and spectrum. The initial idea was that the 6G target speed was 1tb / s (terabytes per second). Yes, terabytes. In order to achieve these speeds, the signal needs to transmit more than 1 terahertz, while the 5G transmission range is only in the region of gigahertz.
Pouttu said, but to run within this range, breakthroughs may be needed in materials research, new computing architectures, chip design, and new approaches to energy coupling.
The earlier these experiments begin, the better. The research team hopes to publish a white paper after the end of the Levi meeting this summer, which will begin to define key research areas.
In terms of environment and cost, power generation and electricity consumption are huge obstacles. How can we enter a world where almost every produced object is constantly collecting, analyzing, and transmitting data without losing efficient renewable energy to ensure that we don’t burn the Earth in the process.
At the same time, the research team hopes to begin to outline the possible applications and future scenarios of the technology. Although the 5G era is expected to make smartphones in our lives not as central as today, Pouttu speculates that 6G will be the post-smartphone era.
With everything connected, almost every object will be data-driven, and with true artificial intelligence, a standard augmented reality interface will pop up when needed and then disappear. The ability to capture and process visual data for all objects will be enormous, and this capability will continue to accelerate the development of automation and artificial intelligence.
He said that for the 6G generation, the idea that we had to carry a small tool to control other objects or communicate would be strange.
“The way we consume data will change,” Pouttu said. “Today, most of our data is captured on smartphones. But if we have 5G virtual or augmented reality glasses, it’s possible that these or other devices are getting With this data, with a printable electronic device, a new human-machine interface will appear soon. So let’s assume we throw away the phone and see what happens.”
In this case, our relationship with the operator may no longer be to buy or sell a smartphone, but may be to buy a “mini base station.” This “mini base station” enables each residential or office building to become its own communication carrier, providing high-volume data communication services for a large number of devices, and applying next-generation communication technology. Pouttu said that these subscriptions will likely be a source of funding for 6G network promotion, and can intelligently conduct online band trading at the community level.
Or maybe not. At present, this is only an academic guess.
Pouttu said that each standard takes about 10 years to develop, so the 6G standard is set to be around 2029-2020. His research team predicts that by 2035, the world will use 5G to the maximum. Therefore, as the 6G standard and its supporting equipment are launched around 2030, the timing of this transition should be just right.
Although this may take years, there are already signs that research around the 6G standard is just around the corner. Just last week, the US Federal Communications Commission announced that it would open the “THz Wave” for the next generation of 6G standard experiments.
At the end of last year, the Chinese government announced that it would increase its research and development efforts on 6G, with the goal of leading the industry by 2030. In January of this year, LG announced the establishment of a 6G research center in South Korea.
Pouttu said that these developments have helped to eliminate some of the operators’ resistance to talking about 6G. As operators invest huge amounts of money in the launch of 5G, they hope that from a marketing perspective, the benefits of 5G will not be confused by future standards discussions.
“The industry doesn’t want to talk about 6G because it dilutes their information about 5G and their ability to make money from 5G,” Pouttu said. “A year ago, we heard a lot of satirical comments about our efforts, because everyone thinks It’s too early. Then we heard that China will start a 6G project, then South Korea. Now people’s attitude is changing because no one wants to fall behind.”
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Post time: Mar-26-2019