Exclusives : Is There a Real Need for Developing 6G? Experts Say Yes

Is There a Real Need for Developing 6G? Experts Say Yes

Massive connectivity, sensing, increased bandwidth: there is no shortage of new capabilities when it comes to what 6G may bring to the table. However, do we need all of that?

“What is the justification for 6G?” one audience member asked at the 6GSymposium Spring 2024, held this week in Levi, Finland. There was no shortage of examples from experts, either.

“First, we need the capacity [provided by 6G],” said Peter Vetter, President of Nokia Bell Labs, during his keynote speech. “There’s a growing ecosystem of smart devices, sensors, robots, drones, and more.”

According to him, another reason is that the expected societal goals of the future also call for a new ecosystem. “For instance, food waste. [By using 6G] We can optimise the food chain through sensors and networks and better manage resources. You create value from 6G,” he added.

Erszebet Fitori, CEO of SNS-JU, agreed. However, she provided another practical justification. “6G will be developed somewhere, and we can’t just be left behind,” the executive observed.

Balancing the Opposites

Although there are several reasons to keep pushing 6G research, different goals will likely pose conflicting interests. 

“Some of the goals, of course, will not necessarily point in the same direction. Our projects really need to look into how to reconcile them,” Fitori said.

“For example, we’d like 6G to be global and open, but we also want technological sovereignty [in the European Union]. We’d like it to be sustainable, but we also want 6G to be ubiquitous.”

Balancing clashing goals will not be an easy task, the experts acknowledge. Nevertheless, they see some ways to overcome such challenges. 

The first is choosing priorities. According to Fitori, collaboration between public and private partners is critical, but including verticals and innovative SMEs, as well as international players, will be key to reconciling those conflicts. 

Another solution, as Vetter pointed out, is prioritising some of the challenges. Six of them, to be more precise:

  • Extreme MIMO on existing grids
  • Smooth migration and core evolution
  • Programmable and API-native
  • Framework for native AI
  • Framework for energy efficiency
  • Security, trust, and privacy

“At this year’s MWC, 6G was almost a forbidden word. Why? Because there are concerns about whether it will be able to monetise the new investments. What will be important [regarding this topic] is how we will create value for 6G,” Vetter said. “And I’m convinced that there’s value in there.”




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