6G: the new frontier of telecommunications

Beginning in 2019, a research team has launched the 6 Genesis Flagship Program , an eight-year $ 230 million project that will develop and test the technologies needed to implement 6G. The researchers' goal is to support companies in finalizing 5G by carrying out pilot projects and developing the fundamental technological components to enable sixth generation systems.

6G: a new generation for the year 2030?

Typically, wireless technologies take a decade to develop and are then used in the decade following their launch. The development of these technologies requires cooperation between academics, research organizations and industries to identify needs and set standards for the entire communication system. 5G technology is being rolled out starting in 2020, which means 6G should be ready for commercialization around 2030.

In December 2020, the European Union launched the Hexa-X project, a project of the Horizon 2020 program, which brings together device manufacturers and telecommunications operators to define the roadmap and guide future developments of 6G technology.

Roadmap 6G: Credits: ResearchGate

According to scholars , 6G will enable the use of artificial intelligence in every field of society with ubiquitous wireless connectivity. In the researchers' view, all aspects of society will be based on data exchange with almost instantaneous and unlimited wireless connectivity.

6G: what are the challenges to be faced?

The biggest challenge 6G developers face will be the use of higher frequencies. Predictions are that 6G will use frequencies from 100GHz up to TeraHertz , a major change that will require re-engineering of the entire wireless system globally. In fact, the use of higher frequencies has an impact on transceiver design, signal processing, and component design.

The challenges for developing 6G technology involve several sectors:

  • Wireless connectivity
  • Intelligent distributed computing
  • Device technology
  • Vertical application

Wireless connectivity: networks will need to be optimized to achieve the right trade-offs between data transmission capacity, spectral efficiency, energy efficiency and service latency. Network capacity is expected to be improved with the transition to ultra-high frequency bands. The density of the base stations will increase significantly and reduce costs. The capacity of the backhaul networks will be expanded, that is, there will be better connectivity in the intermediate links between the core network and the small subnets. Base stations can also be mobile when placed on buses, drones or other vehicles, which will require new discoveries in backhauling and fronthauling .

Intelligent Distributed Computing : Intelligence will approach the user through the mobile edge , the cloud and fog computing . The edge mobile computing allow the processing of data at the user, ie at the network edge (edge), reducing latency.

Device technology: The amount of data that 6G networks will process will require increased performance in the processing of radio frequency signals. New technologies will have to be designed for high frequency use. New nanomaterials will be needed to produce the antennas, as the polymers used in current antennas degrade their performance at higher frequencies.

Vertical applications : some sectors such as automotive, transportation, healthcare and industrial manufacturing will need specific technologies. Just think of autonomous vehicles that will communicate with other vehicles or health monitors connected to wearable devices 24/7. The networks will have to guarantee a certain level of performance and a very important goal is to connect all this to the network. which is currently disconnected.

6G technology will reach industry and consumers in at least a decade, however the development of technologies to meet future telecommunications needs has already begun.

Curated by Antonino Pagano .

Article 6G: the new frontier of telecommunications comes from Tech CuE .