ITU-R: Future Technology Trends for the evolution of IMT towards 2030 and beyond (including 6G)


This author is truly astounded with all the buzz about 6G when neither 3GPP or ITU-R WP5D (or ITU-T) have completed their 5G specs. However, there is work progressing in ITU-R WP5D on the evolution of IMT in the next ten years with a report scheduled to be completed in June 2022.

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Future Technology Trends for the evolution of IMT towards 2030 and beyond:

Considering the successful accomplishments by ITU-R for the evolution of IMT-2000, IMT‑Advanced and IMT-2020, similar actions are proposed for the evolution of IMT towards 2030 and beyond. The approach taken for IMT‑Advanced evolution towards IMT-2020 was to start with the work on the Report ITU-R M.2320 entitled “Future technology trends of terrestrial IMT systems” (approved in 2014) to develop the evolution for IMT-Advanced (aka “4G”).

At its 34th meeting (19-26 February 2020), ITU‑R Working Party (WP) 5D decided to start study on future technology trends for the future evolution of IMT.  A preliminary draft new Report ITU-R M.[IMT.FUTURE TECHNOLOGY TRENDS] will be developed and will consider related information from various external organizations and country/regional research programs.

The scope of the new Report ITU-R M.[IMT.FUTURE TECHNOLOGY TRENDS] focuses on the following aspects:

This Report provides a broad view of future technical aspects of terrestrial IMT systems considering the time frame up to 2030 and beyond. It includes information on technical and operational characteristics of terrestrial IMT systems, including the evolution of IMT through advances in technology and spectrally-efficient techniques, and their deployment.”

For the development of this report, WP 5D invites the views of External Organizations on future technology trends for terrestrial IMT systems, including but not limited to the motivation on driving factors such as new use cases, applications, capabilities, technology trends and enablers. These technical inputs are intended for the timeframe towards 2030 and beyond and are proposed to be significantly advanced and different from that of IMT-2020.

A few potential aspects of the new report (subject to change based on inputs from external organizations):

  • Motivation on driving factors for future technology trends towards 2030 and beyond
  • Driving factors in the design of future IMT technology
  • Technology Trends and Enablers
  • Technologies to enhance the radio interface
  • Technologies to enhance radio network performance and precision
  • Technologies for native AI based communication
  • Technologies to enhance service coverage
  • Technologies to enhance privacy and security
  • Technologies for integrated sensing and communication
  • Technologies for integrated terrestrial and non-terrestrial communications
  • Technologies for integrated access and super sidelink communications
  • Technologies to enhance adaptability and sustainability
  • Technologies for efficient spectrum utilization
  • Terminal technologies
  • Technologies to support a wide range of new use cases and applications
  • Summary and Conclusion
  • Acronyms, Terminology, Abbreviations

WP 5D plans to complete this study at the 41st WP 5D meeting in June 2022.


International Telecommunication Union launches 6G research

15 thoughts on “ITU-R: Future Technology Trends for the evolution of IMT towards 2030 and beyond (including 6G)

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  7. I have read a lot of great information in this article detailing ITU-R work on 6G and beyond. I’ve bookmarked the IEEE Techblog site which I will revisit frequently.

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    1. A lot of time and effort- 30 to 40 hours a week writing articles, editing guest articles and monitoring comments and general website admin tasks. Almost 12 years of doing this volunteer work! Thanks for asking.

  8. Can you tell us more about ITU-R work on 6G and beyond? I’d want to find out more details.

  9. The IEEE Techblog is very good and I am especially impressed with this post on the evolution of IMT to 6G and beyond. I like the appearance of the site and am very satisfied with the content.

  10. There is a need to conclude on all the “requirements and evaluation methodology documentations” for IMT towards 2030 and beyond prior to the WRC-27, and to hold a workshop in relation to this completion by WP 5D with an invite to all ITU Members/members, together with external organizations and potential technology candidates for the new IMT family member (6G).

    From a multi-company contribution to Aug 23-29, 2021 ITU-R WP 5D meeting

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