What Companies Are Working on 6G?

March 1, 2024

Written by 6GWorld
6G Mobile Phone
CATEGORY: Exclusives
TAGS: 6G, research

Some of the most innovative companies on earth are investing substantial time and money into 6G research, and for good reason: 6G technologies have the potential to open up exciting new possibilities across a broad range of applications.

In this article, we highlight some of the companies that are leading the global effort to unlock the potential of 6G and usher in the next generation of wireless communication technology as of today. The list is sorted in alphabetical order.

What are the leading companies working on 6G?

6G-related companies range from small startups to some of the largest technology companies around. While the list below focuses on some of the highest-profile players, a diverse array of companies are expected to contribute to the nascent 6G marketplace.

1. Apple Inc

A globally recognized brand in consumer electronics and often the largest company in the world by market capitalization, Apple is a natural fit for investing in 6G research and development. Even though Apple has been silent about their projects, eporting suggests that Apple is scaling up its team of 6G modem experts even as it continues to pursue advancements in 5G technology.

2. AT&T

A telecommunications giant, AT&T will likely be one of the key corporate leaders in the development of 6G infrastructure and service offerings. AT&T leadership sees a number of high-potential use cases for 6G emerging, including immersive communications (i.e. XR, extended reality), AI, and hyper-reliable low-latency communications.

3. Cisco

As a key OEM for a wide variety of networking hardware, software, and services, Cisco will be heavily invested in making the next generation of wireless a reality. Cisco’s CTO announced as early as CES 2019 that the company was “looking to a 6G future,” which they see as maturing over a 15-20 year timeframe. You can find a helpful breakdown here on how Cisco sees 6G technology developing in the coming years.

4. Ericsson

This Swedish multinational telecommunications company is a noted thought leader in the 6G space. Seeing 6G technology as a foundation for a new “cyber-physical” continuum, Ericsson maintains an in-house lab dedicated to prototypes for exploring key 6G technologies (achieving, for example, “peak throughput of >100 Gbps on sub-THz frequencies using a 6G RAN prototype system with cabled radios.”)

5. Huawei

One of the leading Chinese technology firms, Huawei publishes frequent updates about 6G research and has been playing with 6G solutions that could be feasible in the future. Tha company also provides an in-depth overview of its vision for the 6G paradigm in this whitepaper.

6. LG

This Korean conglomerate is a leader across an incredible array of industries and technologies ranging from petrochemicals to batteries, and 6G is no exception. LG researchers have already set the real-world-ready distance record for 6g data transmission.

7. Nokia

The Finnish Nokia corporation sees 6G as the “coming together of machines, ambient data, intelligent knowledge systems and robust computation capabilities that redefine how we live, work and take care of our planet.” Projecting 6G to arrive by 2030, Nokia’s 6G research is overseen by their Bell Labs division. They provide a comprehensive treatment of their vision for 6G technology in this e-book. 

8. Orange

French telecom giant Orange S.A. is an enthusiastic contributor to numerous 6G research initiatives. They provide a helpful, in-depth examination of key technical requirements, candidate solutions, and potential use cases for 6G in their whitepaper here

9. Qualcomm

This semiconductor giant already supplies a large proportion of the 5G and earlier modems that are ubiquitous in wireless communications devices today, and it is heavily invested in continuing its leadership into the next generation of wireless technology. They provide an extensive look at their vision for 6G and the research program needed to make it a reality in their white paper here. 

10. Samsung

The Korean technology giant hopes to leverage their global leadership in communication hardware, software, and AI to establish a leading position in the emerging 6G ecosystem. This whitepaper from Samsung provides some interesting details on their research into the 6G spectrum.

Learn more about the 6G spectrum in our article here.

a graphic showing 6g spectrum waves in detail

11. SK Telecom

The South Korean operator has been actively researching and developing solutions for 6G, such as base stations and delay reduction technologies.

12. Verizon

While this US telecommunications provider’s CTO has opined that he “doesn’t know what the hell 6G is,” the company has notably signed on with other wireless industry leaders to form the Next G Alliance (see below).

collaborate efforts of 6g companies pullquote

What partnerships are supporting 6G research?

6G is still in its infancy and to help it reach maturity, many of the companies leading related research are pooling their resources and expertise through several major international research initiatives. For example, North America’s Next G Alliance has launched a dedicated 6G research center at the University of Texas at Austin and seeks to support three central strategic goals:

  1. Development of a national 6G roadmap for the United States.
  2. Alignment of US stakeholders on key 6G priorities for public policy-making and funding
  3. Encouragement of the rapid uptake of 6G across new markets and business sectors.

Other notable examples include:

  1. 6G-IA (Europe): the 6G Smart Networks and Services Industry Association provides a voice for European 5G and 6G research. 
  2. 6G Flagship (Finland): The first 6G initiative established in the world is also one of the most influential ones, conducting research and developing solutions for future networks.
  3. Beyond 5G Promotion Consortium (Japan): Established in 2020 by the Japanese government, the B5G Promotion Consortium is the country’s forum for discussions about the development of future networks.
  4. Hexa-X (Europe): this  European large initiative is supported by funding from the EU and a consortium of private sector firms including Nokia, Ericsson, Orange S.A., Siemens, and Intel.
  5. IMT-2030 (China): the IMT-2030 (6G) Promotion Group is China’s leading platform for promoting Chinese 6G development and international cooperation. 
  6. NGMN Alliance (Global): The Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance is a longstanding association of mobile operators, OEMs, and research institutions which has established a dedicated 6G working group. 

Learn More About the Growing 6G Market

As the world looks toward the horizon for the arrival of 6G technology, a diverse array of companies and partnerships are leading the charge toward this next frontier in wireless communication. 

The collaborative efforts of these organizations are laying the groundwork for a future defined by unparalleled connectivity and innovation. By leveraging their collective expertise, resources, and vision, these technology leaders are working hard to build a foundation capable of supporting the full potential of 6G technology to revolutionize the way we live, work, and interact with technology.

Our team at 6GWorld is excited to track the progress of the latest research and developments, whether they emerge from global enterprises, universities, or small startups. We hope you will join us as we share the latest developments and survey the next generation of wireless technology as it moves step-by-step toward reality.

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