IMT-2030 Technical Performance Requirements (TPR) from ITU-R WP5D

As defined in Resolution ITU-R 56-3, International Mobile Telecommunications-2030 (IMT-2030) systems are mobile systems that include new radio interface(s) which support enhanced capabilities and new capabilities beyond IMT‑2020, IMT-Advanced and IMT-2000. In Recommendation ITU-R M.2160 ‒ Framework and overall objectives of the future development of IMT for 2030 and beyond, the capabilities of IMT-2030 are identified, which aims to make IMT-2030 more capable, flexible, reliable and secure than previous IMT systems when providing diverse and novel services in the intended six usage scenarios (see figure below), including immersive communication, hyper reliable and low‑latency communication (HRLLC), massive communication, ubiquitous connectivity, artificial intelligence and communication, and integrated sensing and communication (ISAC).

IMT-2030 is expected to support enriched and potential immersive experience, enhanced ubiquitous coverage, and enable new forms of collaboration. Furthermore, IMT-2030 is envisaged to support expanded and new usage scenarios compared to those of IMT-2020, while providing enhanced and new capabilities.​  In accordance with the IMT-2030 (6G) timeline within ITU-R, development of IMT-2030 Technical Performance Requirements (TPR) is expected to start in ITU-R Working Party 5D (WP 5D) at the February 2024 meeting in Geneva.

  • The IMT-2030 performance requirements are to be evaluated according to the criteria defined in Report ITU-R M.[IMT‑2030.EVAL] and Report ITU-R M.[IMT-2030.SUBMISSION] for the development of IMT-2030.
  • Recommendation ITU-R M.2160 defines fifteen key “Capabilities of IMT-2030,” which form a basis for the [x] technical performance requirements to be specified in the forthcoming draft document.

In order to facilitate the work of this important phase of IMT-2030 development, Apple, China, and India separately proposed outlines or suggestions for a working document towards a preliminary draft new report on technical performance requirements of IMT-2030.  Those contributions will be presented and discussed at the February 2024 ITU-R WP 5D meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

The proposed technical performance parameters include:

Peak data rate, Peak spectral efficiency,  User experienced data rate,  5th percentile user spectral efficiency, Average spectral efficiency, Area traffic capacity, Latency, User plane latency, Control plane latency, Connection density, Energy efficiency, Reliability, Mobility, Mobility interruption time, Bandwidth, Coverage, Positioning, Sensing, AI, Security,  Sustainability, and Interoperability.

This work will certainly refer to IMT-2030 set of expected capabilities are outlined in ITU-R M.2160 Framework and overall objectives of the future development of IMT for 2030 and beyond, which was approved in November 2023.  A broad variety of capabilities associated with envisaged usage scenarios, are described in that recommendation.

Huge caveat It’s important to note that the IMT 2020 (5G) Technical Performance Parameters specified in ITU-R M.2410 for URLLC use case have STILL NOT BEEN achieved. Furthermore, the 3GPP spec for URLLC in the RAN has not been performance tested or submitted to ITU-R WP5D, even though it was “frozen” June 2020 in 3GPP Rel 16.  Hence, one must wonder if this proposed IMT 2030 Performance Parameter spec will be yet another “paper tiger?”


Draft new ITU-R recommendation (not yet approved): M.[IMT.FRAMEWORK FOR 2030 AND BEYOND]

IMT Vision – Framework and overall objectives of the future development of IMT for 2030 and beyond

IMT 2020.SPECS approved by ITU-R but may not meet 5G performance requirements; no 5G frequencies (revision of M.1036); 5G non-radio aspects not included


4 thoughts on “IMT-2030 Technical Performance Requirements (TPR) from ITU-R WP5D

  1. Thanks, Alan for summarizing the upcoming ITU-R work to specify the technical performance requirements for IMT 2030 (6G). Your articles are always very insightful.

  2. At the Feb 2024 ITU-R WP5D meeting in Geneva, the Radio Aspects SWG chair created a combined document which was reviewed by the SWG. It was especially noted that this is the very first pass of this draft working document and that everything in the document is considered to be in square brackets (subject to change).

  3. At its Feb 2024 meeting, ITU-R WP5D started work on Document IMT-2030/2 submission, evaluation process and consensus building for IMT‑2030. A working document was created.

    Separately, the draft document “Unwanted emission characteristics of IMT-2020 base/mobile stations” was updated along with “Technical feasibility of IMT in bands above 100 GHz”

  4. Research on 6G is gaining momentum, and governments worldwide are contemplating how this next-generation mobile standard aligns with their broader technology roadmaps.

    China outlined its vision in a 6G white paper published back in 2021 titled, “6G Vision and Candidate Technologies,” targeting a 2030 launch. In 2023, the government of India announced plans to prepare the operators for commercial 6G by 2030.

    The South Korean government aims to have commercial 6G networks operational by 2028, two years ahead of the International Telecommunication Union’s scheduled approval for the 6G standard. As the industry grapples with defining the roles of AI, Cloud radio access network (RAN), automation and ESG in the 6G era, we will stay away from the shiny objects and focus on the basics: what spectrum will be utilized for 6G and why ongoing RF innovation is crucial for transforming 6G from a concept into reality within the next five to six years.

    The journey toward 5G-Advanced and eventually 6G will not be trivial. It depends on a confluence of factors, with the type of spectrum being one of the more critical unknowns that can completely change the trajectory and velocity of the entire 6G ramp. After all, the 5G capital expenditure (capex) envelope would look entirely different if not for the large swaths of spectrum in the upper mid-band, coupled with mMIMO.

    Figure 1
    Figure 2 5G/6G spectrum chart.

    Presently, the prevailing notion is that the 6 GHz band and the centimeter wave (cmWave) spectrum will play pivotal roles as anchor bands in the 6G era with frequencies spanning from 6.4 to 15.3 GHz. This band will be akin to the functions carried out by the C-Band in the 5G era. Concurrently, the mmWave spectrum transitions from a backseat position in 5G to a potential passenger seat with 6G in this multi-layered spectrum approach, encompassing new and existing sub-7 GHz, cmWave and mmWave spectrum.

    However, achieving economic viability for the broader 6G coverage layer complicates the situation and poses challenges with small cell infrastructure. Consequently, the 6 to 15 GHz base stations will need to make use of the existing macro grid. Ideally, future mmWave systems will also increasingly leverage the macro infrastructure for MBB applications.

    As the saying goes, nothing in this world can be said to be certain, except death, taxes and the inevitability of greater propagation losses with rising frequencies. According to the Hata model for a medium-sized city, the received power drops by approximately 7 dB when comparing the 6 GHz band with the C-Band. Another loss of approximately 7 dB occurs at 12 GHz in comparison to 6.5 GHz.

    In essence, RF innovation becomes crucial for operators aiming to deploy large bandwidth and wide area 6G in new spectrum. At a broader level, there are three main efforts already part of the 5G journey, including boosting the RF output power, adding more transceivers and incorporating more antenna elements. For 6G deployments within the upper 6 to 15 GHz range, advancing mMIMO becomes indispensable to achieve equivalent upper mid-band coverage. Leading vendors are currently exploring configurations such as 128T/128R or 256 transceiver channels to compensate for different loss parameters. Though it is still early days, preliminary testing shows promise. For instance, Huawei has verified in small-scale tests that the propagation delta between the 6 GHz and C-Band is manageable with higher-order MIMO.

    So far, mmWave deployments have primarily centered around FWA and low-mobility MBB applications, partly due to challenges related to coverage and performance degradation in higher-mobility scenarios. In response, technology leaders are now boosting the EIRP to tackle coverage limitations. One of the suppliers has already verified that co-site deployments with macros using 70 dBm+ EIRP and intra-band coordination with sub-6 GHz spectrum, can deliver Gbps performance throughout the cell. More innovation is also required to smooth out the handovers. Notably, the UL is typically the limiting factor and more work is needed to address the approximately 20 dB gap between the mmWave bands and the C-Band.

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