China’s MIIT to prioritize 6G project, accelerate 5G and gigabit optical network deployments in 2023
China’s government has selected 6G as one of its priority projects for 2023. At a national conference on industry and information technology, the Ministry for Industry and IT (MIIT) Jin Zhuanglong, said China intends to push forward in “comprehensive” development of 6G this year. In 2023, China will introduce policies and measures to promote coordinated development of new information infrastructure construction and accelerate the construction of 5G and gigabit optical networks, Jin said. MIIT will also improve policies on telecom market development, and strengthen the protection of personal information and users’ rights and interests.
Editor’s Note: Work on 6G has not yet started in either 3GPP or ITU-R WP 5D. The latter SDO is progressing draft reports on the vision of IMT for 2030 and Beyond, but no 6G requirements will be identified.
More than 2.3 million 5G base stations have been put into service, and notable progress has been made in the construction of new data centers, according to the conference.
In recent years, China has intensified efforts to promote the construction of new information infrastructure, deepen the construction of 5G, gigabit optical network and industrial internet, and promote the deep integration of the digital economy and the real economy.
Image Credit: Alan Novelli/Alamy Stock Photo
At the end of last year China Telecom issued a white paper setting out its vision for 6G. Written by the China Telecom Research Institute, the paper proposes a distributed and intelligent programmable RAN (P-RAN) network architecture and what it calls a “three-layer and four-sided” framework. The white paper notes that because of the cost of building out the dense mmWave or terahertz-band networks, it will be essential to provide device-to-device connectivity.
Six months ago, heavyweight China Mobile issued its own 6G vision, calling for “three bodies, four layers and five sides.”
China’s other 6G news is a call for proposals on potential key technologies from the national coordinating body, the IMT-2030 6G Promotion Group. According to an English-language statement posted by CAICT, the main objectives are “to inspire university-academy-industry-association entities for technology innovations, gather and form a rich reserve of 6G potential key technologies, and support 6G research, standardization, and industrial R&D.”
Non-Chinese universities and research organizations are welcome to apply ahead of the deadline in November 2023. The proposed solutions should have “application and promotion value for 6G innovation and development,” and the key technical indicators should be capable of being evaluated and verified, the statement said.
China Mobile unveils 6G architecture with a digital twin network (DTN) concept
2 thoughts on “China’s MIIT to prioritize 6G project, accelerate 5G and gigabit optical network deployments in 2023”
Ericsson reviewed various seminal 6G white papers across wireless industries, regional research partnerships and academia to give you the nine key takeaways from the 6G early research phase.
1. Sustainability goals will be crucial to 6G use case development
2. 6G will deliver extreme performance
3. 6G networks will offer sensing capabilities
4. 6G will support trillions of embeddable devices
5. Network resilience will be a key design element of 6G systems
6. 6G network architecture will be more adaptable and dynamic
Another Opinion on 6G:
6G is the upcoming sixth-generation cellular network technology that is currently in early development. One of the goals of 6G cellular technology is not just to deliver basic content faster to smartphones, like streaming video, but to create a cellular network capable of supporting real-time augmented reality, virtual reality, and a future Internet of Things (IoT) model where small smart devices are a ubiquitous presence in and outside of our homes.
When reading anything about 6G, especially the breathless and hype-laden announcements from telecommunications companies that emphasize how 6G will usher in the metaverse, a fusion of our physical and virtual lives, and so on, you should keep the “early” part of early development in mind.
Currently, there are no established 6G specifications or standards, let alone deployed 6G networks or devices. Even the most basic aspects of 6G development, like which specific frequencies the next generation cellular technology will rely on, are still being ironed out along with technical challenges like energy and heat dissipation demands of advanced 6G devices.
That said, we do have some idea what 6G will look like. Current cellular technology operates in the Megahertz (MHz) and the lower Gigahertz (GHz) frequency ranges. The portion of the radio spectrum under consideration and testing for 6G includes frequencies in the 30-300 Ghz range—also known as millimeter waves (mmWave) or Extremely High Frequency (EHF) radio—and the Terahertz (THz) frequency up to 3000 Ghz. The use of these frequencies will allow for data transmission well beyond the bandwidth capacity of current cellular technology.
In December of 2022, Qualcomm released a 6G development plan with 2030 as a projected rollout date for 6G tech. Ericsson’s 6G messaging echoes the early 2030s timeframe too, as do various interviews with telecom executives.
5G was first introduced in 2019. Four years later, there are still millions of cellular subscribers using 4G, and 5G is yet to have a fully realized coast-to-coast rollout. GSMA’s authoritative 2023 Mobile Economy report, for instance, indicates North American adoption rate of 5G is only 39%, with more than half of cellular subscribers still using 4G. By their projections, the North American 5G adoption rate will be 91% by 2030, meaning by the time 6G potentially arrives, there will still be 4G subscribers out there.
Given the current development timelines, you should expect a delivery arc similar to the 5G rollout. If you live in a major metropolitan area, there is a good chance you’ll be covered by early 6G networks around 2030. If you’re not in a major metropolitan area, it’s likely you’ll be waiting well into the 2030s for the 6G rollout.
So if we step away from the hype and look at the matter practically, it’s likely only a small percentage of people will be using 6G-based networks by 2030. But the bulk of North American subscribers, and certainly the majority of global subscribers, will still be on 5G networks.