FCC’s 6G Council Meets for the First Time and Defines Hot Topics

March 3, 2022

Written by Caio Castro
FCC council starts discussions on 6G
CATEGORY: Exclusives
TAGS: 6G, research, fcc

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has officially started one of its biggest efforts on 6G so far: last Monday, the 2022 Technological Advisory Council – a group of experts who will discuss the path the United States should take to develop 6G – met for the first time.

The Council is meant to provide technical advice to the FCC on various topics. Currently, it includes 47 members from academia, the industry, and the FCC to debate 6G.

The experts will work on four areas: 6G, artificial intelligence and machine learning, advanced spectrum sharing, and emerging technologies. Even though it was not explicitly stated, it seems the FCC considers these topics the pivotal ones for the development of the next generation of wireless communications.

“There’s a good deal of overlap in the work of our four groups, largely because even though one group is named 6G, the other three groups are focusing on areas that will likely be important for 6G as well,” Dean Brenner, Chairman of the Council and Qualcomm representative to the FCC, said during the event.

“The world is not waiting for us [the United States] to wake up and begin working on 6G. There are numerous efforts under way all around the world in the private and public sectors to begin planning for 6G,” he added, noting that North American players have already kicked off a collective effort with the Next G Alliance.

While each working group will be following its own agenda, the first 6G Council meeting was dedicated to introducing members, objectives, and planned activities for each of the groups. They have identified specific topics to address and questions to answer:

6G Working Group

  1. Development and deployment of 6G
  2. Open RAN/vRAN
  3. Security in Open RAN/vRAN architecture
  4. Use of mmW/Terahertz bands for Fronthaul/Backhaul/Access/Sensing
  5. 6G for autonomous driving, edge computing, emergency alerting, and smart city technology
  6. 6G helping bridge the digital divide

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

  1. Application to AI to Spectrum Sharing
  2. Use of AI in 5G
  3. Use of AI in O-RAN
  4. Other subjects like the role of AI in 6G and beyond, impact of AI on implementation, energy efficiency for wireless systems

Emerging Technologies

  1. Devices and technologies
  2. Internet and information access
  3. Satellite
  4. Location services
  5. Network-driven (advanced) technologies

Advanced spectrum sharing

  1. Potential new bands for sharing
  2. Best practices for spectrum sharing
  3. Receiver standards and technology advances
  4. Modeling of interference
  5. Economic incentives of shared spectrum

Next Steps

Now that the Council has officially kicked off, each working group will meet regularly and conduct activities that may include publishing reports and deliverables, bringing in external speakers to present their views, discussions, and other specific tasks.

“This is a big effort,” Ronald Repasi, Acting Chief Engineer at the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology, said during his final remarks. “It’s all volunteer work, it’s time-consuming [but] I think we’ve got a lot of great minds to bring to some tasks in front of us.”

You can download the slide deck presented at the meeting here.

Featured image by Rob Pegoraro/Flickr

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