Highlights of 3GPP Stage 1 Workshop on IMT 2030 (6G) Use Cases

This 3GPP May 8-10,2024 workshop held in Rotterdam, Nederlands brought the 3GPP community closer to the initiatives of regional and global research organizations, market partners (MRPs), operators’ associations and the ITU.

The workshop presented the opportunity for different communities to share their views on 6G/IMT2030 Use Cases. Those communities are Operators; Verticals; Regional Alliances and ITU.

The workshop was co-chaired by Mr. Jose Almodovar, SA1 Chair, and by Mr. Puneet Jain, SA Chair. It was supported by ETSI MCC, coordinated by Mr. Alain Sultan.

3GPP WG SA1 now has the task to define the 6G stage 1 requirements to be met by future 3GPP specifications.

Among the more important sessions were:

Day 1: Opening, Operators, Verticals

Speakers: Puneet Jain (Intel), SA Chair and Jose Almodovar (TNO), SA1 Chair


Operators:

Panel#1: “6G Drivers for Operators”

Moderator: Balazs Bertenyi (Nokia)
Panellists: Scott Migaldi (T-Mobile USA), Eric Hardouin (Orange), Xu Xiaodong (CMCC), Minsoo Na (SK Telecom), Shin-Ichi Isobe (NTT DoCoMo)

Panel#2 :  “6G Drivers for Verticals” 

Moderator: Toon Norp (KPN), former SA1 Chair
Panellists: Maxime Flament (5GAA), Andreas Müller (Bosch), Jordi Gimenez (5G-MAG), Nicolas Chuberre (Thales), Tero Pesonen (TCCA), Bruno Tomas (WBA)

 

Panel #2

Potential Drivers for 6G include:

•Security. Used in different contexts, both about network security and user data confidentiality (interesting to note that 5G Security is not widely deployed. It requires a 5G SA network few of which are commercially available).

• Maintaining continuity of service and robust security, especially crucial in times of crisis

• Identify all relevant new threat-factors for 6G, and develop mitigation solution (e.g. detection and protection against electromagnetic threats)

• Quantum-safe security mechanisms

• Network-design/performance: network optimization and automation (Intelligent Network management, Network Performance)

• Energy efficiency/saving/ sustainability

• AI-assisted air interface/ Radio Performance

• AI for improving positioning

• Enabling AI at the application level

• AI data management, model distribution for all AI-assisted “smart” areas (cities, industries, surgeries, robot control, manufacturing plant, rescue missions etc.

• AI as a Service (AIaaS)

• To implement a range of media’s personalization and customization (sport TV program, etc)


ITU & 3GPP:

Panel#4: ITU & 3GPP synergies for 6G

Moderator: Giovanni Romano (Novamint), ITU/3GPP liaison officer
Panellists: Hiroyuki Atarashi (NTT DOCOMO), ITU-R WP 5D Chair, Puneet Jain (3GPP SA Chair – Intel), Peter Schmitt (3GPP CT Chair – Huawei), Wanshi Chen (3GPP RAN Chair – Qualcomm), Jose Almodovar (SA1 Chair – TNO)

Closing:

Speakers: Puneet Jain (Intel), SA Chair; Jose Almodovar (TNO), SA1 Chair; Alain Sultan (ETSI MCC), SA1 Secretary & 3GPP Work Plan Coordinator

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References:

https://www.3gpp.org/component/content/article/stage1-imt2030-uc-ws?catid=67&Itemid=101

https://www.3gpp.org/ftp/workshop/2024-05-08_3GPP_Stage1_IMT2030_UC_WS/Docs

https://www.3gpp.org/ftp/workshop/2024-05-08_3GPP_Stage1_IMT2030_UC_WS

NGMN issues ITU-R framework for IMT-2030 vs ITU-R WP5D Timeline for RIT/SRIT Standardization

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

Juniper Research: Global 6G Connections to be 290M in 1st 2 years of service, but network interference problem looms large

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

New ETSI Reports: 1.] Use cases for THz communications & 2.] Frequency bands of interest in the sub-THz and THz range

SK Telecom, DOCOMO, NTT and Nokia develop 6G AI-native air interface

Ericsson and IIT Kharagpur partner for joint research in AI and 6G

SK Telecom, Intel develop low-latency technology for 6G core network

ETSI Integrated Sensing and Communications ISG targets 6G

IEEE 5G/6G Innovation Testbed for developers, researchers and entrepreneurs

 

 

GSMA: China’s 5G market set to top 1 billion this year

China’s state sponsored 5G market is expected to add almost US$260 billion to its gross domestic product in 2030, with its 5G connections accounting for nearly a third of the worldwide total according to a recent GSMA report.

The report forecasts that more than half of Chinese mobile connections will be 5G by the end of 2024. 5G’s contribution to GDP in China is expected to reach almost $260 billion in 2030, which is 23% of the overall annual economic impact of mobile in China. Also by 2030, 5G connections in China will account for nearly a third of the global total, with 5G adoption in China reaching almost 90%, making it one of the leading markets globally.

The mobile industry contributed to 5.5% of China’s GDP last year, and in each of the coming years through 2030, nearly a quarter of that contribution will come from 5G – the highest echelon of current cellular technology – per the results of a study issued on Tuesday by the Group System for Mobile communications Association (GSMA).

Overall, the mobile market’s contribution to the Chinese economy will reach around US$1.1 trillion in 2030, GSMA said.  Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA, said:

“It is great to see China, the world’s largest 5G market, commit so enthusiastically to the GSMA’s Open Gateway initiative to help drive the growth and maturity of the technology. As China surpasses 1 billion 5G connections this year, we expect to see further investment and potential in evolutions such as 5G-Advanced, 5G New Calling and 5G RedCap to improve user experience and unlock new revenue streams for operators.”

Photo credit: Shutterstock

GSMA’s Mobile Economy China 2024 report said the country’s entire mobile sector has so far provided a total of nearly 8 million jobs directly and indirectly, and generated US$110 billion in tax revenue in 2023 alone.  According to that report:

  • There are now 1.28 billion unique mobile subscribers in China – a penetration rate of 88%
  • Mobile’s overall contribution to the Chinese economy in 2023 reached $970 billion, or 5.5% of GDP
  • 5G is expected to reach 1.6bn connections in 2030, representing a third of the world’s total, and forecast to contribute $260 billion to China’s GDP
  • An additional 290 million people in China now use mobile internet compared to eight years ago (2015), closing the country’s Usage Gap from 43% to just 16%
  • Mobile data traffic in China is expected to quadruple by the end of the decade
5G adoption in China “is growing faster than anticipated due to the speed of network deployments and a maturing device ecosystem,” the GSMA reported.

China has the world’s most mobile phone users by a wide margin. As of the end of last year, there were 122.5 mobile phones for every 100 people, according to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics.  The number of 5G base stations was nearly 3.38 million – a surge of 46% from a year earlier.

“China continues to set the pace for cutting-edge 5G technology standards,”the GSMA said, adding the country’s operators are “leading the way in the transition to 5G-advanced and 5G reduced capability networks. This is anticipated to kick-start a new round of 5G investment in 2024 and beyond.”

China is also investing heavily in research and development for the next generation of mobile technology, part of a global race to deploy a 6G network.  China Mobile, the world’s largest telecoms operator in terms of mobile subscribers, announced last month that it successfully launched the world’s first satellite to test 6G architecture.
References:

Ericsson and IIT Kharagpur partner for joint research in AI and 6G

Ericsson and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur have announced a partnership for a long-term cooperation for joint research in the area of radio, computing and AI (artificial intelligence). Both organisations have signed two milestone agreements. As part of the agreements, researchers from IIT Kharagpur and Ericsson will collaborate to develop novel AI and distributed compute tech for 6G. Leaders from IIT Kharagpur and Ericsson participated in discussing the developments and advancements for the future of networks and communications at the GS Sanyal School Telecommunications (GSSST).

Ericsson members from left: Rupa Deshmukh, Mikael Prtz, Kaushik Dey, Mikael Hook, Bo Hagerman,Magnus Frodigh, Director – Prof V. k Tewari, Deputy Director – Prof Amit Patra, Anil R Nair

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Two key initiatives finalized by Ericsson and IIT were:

a) Compute offload and Resource Optimisation at edge compute: The project aims to explore resource optimization, dynamic observability and sustainable distributed and Edge computing technologies.

b) RL-based Beamforming for JCAS: Safe, Causal, and Verifiable: The project aims to explore causal AI methods for joint communication and sensing (JCAS).

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AI and Compute Research is instrumental to Ericsson’s 6G networks as the compute offload needs to be managed dynamically at edge and the policies would primarily be driven by AI. These themes of research are well aligned with IIT Kharagpur and both organizations view this partnership as a way to push the boundaries of fundamental and applied research in the Radio domain.

Editor’s Note:

Ericsson laid off 8,500 employees last year as part of its cost-cutting initiatives and reduced total costs by 12 billion Swedish crowns ($1.15 billion) in 2023.

Telecoms equipment suppliers are expecting a challenging 2024 as 5G equipment sales – a key source of revenue – are slowing in North America, while India, a growth market, may also see a slowdown. Ericsson’s fourth-quarter net sales fell 16% to 71.9 billion Swedish crowns ($6.89 billion), missing estimates of 76.64 billion.

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Magnus Frodigh, Head of Ericsson Research, says: “This collaboration strengthens our R&D commitments in India and is pivotal to Radio, Compute and AI research. We are excited to partner with IIT Kharagpur and look forward to collaborative research in fundamental areas as well as translational research for our Future Network Platforms”. Dr Frodigh also presented Ericsson’s vision on 6G which aims to blend the physical and digital worlds enabling us to improve the quality of life by incorporating widespread Sensor-based communications between humans and machines through digital twins.

Nitin Bansal, Managing Director of Ericsson India said, “Ericsson is well poised to lead 6G innovation and we are making significant R&D investments in India in line with our commitment to the country. Given our 5G and technology leadership, our research initiatives are geared to provide affordable network platforms for ubiquitous connectivity all across the country.”

Virendra Kumar, Director at IIT Kharagpur, said, “In the commitment towards Digital India and making India the hub of technological innovation, this collaboration with Ericsson will be effective for next-generation technology significantly. 6G networks integrated with artificial intelligence will enable AI-powered applications to run faster and more efficiently. In the 6G era, IIT Kharagpur aims to contribute to Radio Access Technology and Network, Core Network, RF & Device Technologies, VLSI Design, Neuromorphic Signal Processing, Services and Applications.”

About Ericsson;
Ericsson enables communications service providers to capture the full value of connectivity. The company’s portfolio spans Networks, Digital Services, Managed Services, and Emerging Business and is designed to help our customers go digital, increase efficiency and find new revenue streams. Ericsson’s investments in innovation have delivered the benefits of telephony and mobile broadband to billions of people around the world. The Ericsson stock is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and on Nasdaq New York. www.ericsson.com

About IIT Kharagpur:

Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT KGP) is a higher educational and academic institute, known globally for nurturing industry ready professionals for the world and is a pioneer institution to provide Excellence in Education, producing affordable technology innovations. Set up in 1951 in a detention camp as an Institute of National Importance, the Institute ranks among the top five institutes in India and is awarded, “The Institute of Eminence”, by the Govt. of India in 2019. The Institute is engaged in several international and national mission projects and ranks significantly in research output with about 20 academic departments, 12 schools, 18 centers (including 10 Centre of Excellence) and 2 academies with vast tree-laden campus, spreading over 2100 acres having 16,000+ students. Currently, it has about 750+ faculty, 850+ employees and 1240+ projects.

To know more visit: [http://www.iitkgp.ac.in/]

https://www.ericsson.com/en/press-releases/2/2024/2/ericsson-and-iit-kharagpur-partner-for-joint-research-in-ai-and-edge-compute

Ericsson, IIT Kharagpur Partner to Joint Research in AI and 6G

Nokia plans to investment €360 million in microelectronics & 5G Advanced/6G technology in Germany

Nokia plans to invest €360 million (US$391 million) on the development of energy-efficient software, hardware and high-performance microelectronics for use in future mobile communications systems based on future 5G-Advanced and 6G specs from 3GPP and ITU-R standards.

Nokia wrote that “3GPP Release 18 will mark another major evolution in 5G technology that will lead the industry into the 5G-Advanced era. 5G-Advanced is set to evolve 5G to its fullest, richest capabilities. It will create a foundation for more demanding applications and a wider range of use cases than ever before with a truly immersive user experience based on extended reality (XR) features. It will also introduce AI and ML enhancements across the RAN, Core, and network management layer for improved performance, network optimization, and energy efficiency.”

Source: Nokia

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Editors Note:  3GPP Release 18 is scheduled to be completed in June 2024

Source: 3GPP

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The project will focus on the integrated development of software, hardware and high-performance systems-on-chips based on a digital twin. These will be used in radio and optical products in future mobile communications systems based on the 5G-Advanced and 6G standards. Nokia is further expanding its extensive experience in chip design and strengthening the European value chain.

This development work will be carried out at Nokia’s Ulm and Nuremberg sites in Germany, and will be funded by Nokia, the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection and the German states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria.

Another focus area is on the energy efficiency of the systems to support European climate targets under the Green Deal. Nokia is closely cooperating with research institutes and universities to achieve this objective.This cooperation will be strengthened by the long-term IPCEI investment and funding.  The microelectronics systems developed as part of the project will help to make networks more energy-efficient and more powerful at the same time.

Nokia hopes that the project will strengthen Europe’s competitiveness, especially in the field of microelectronics for nascent technologies such as 6G and artificial intelligence.

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said:

“This important funding will support our efforts to advance the telecommunications industry in Germany and in Europe, helping to drive innovation and strengthen competitiveness. In particular, it will help our research into microelectronics that will power future technologies such as 6G, artificial intelligence and the metaverse as well as develop networks that are more energy-efficient and powerful. Germany is an important market for Nokia, and we look forward to working with the government to produce cutting-edge technology that is ‘Made in Germany’.”

References:

https://www.nokia.com/about-us/news/releases/2024/01/17/nokia-plans-eu360-million-investment-in-microelectronics-and-communications-technology-in-germany/

https://www.nokia.com/about-us/newsroom/articles/5g-advanced-explained/

https://www.3gpp.org/specifications-technologies/releases/release-18

Nokia exec talks up “5G Advanced” (3GPP release 18) before 5G standards/specs have been completed

Nokia and du (UAE) complete 5G-Advanced RedCap trial

ZTE and China Telecom unveil 5G-Advanced solution for B2B and B2C services

ABI Research: 5G-Advanced (not yet defined by ITU-R) will include AI/ML and network energy savings

Nokia will manufacture broadband network electronics in U.S. for BEAD program

ETSI Integrated Sensing and Communications ISG targets 6G

The new ETSI Industry Specification Group for Integrated Sensing and Communications (ISG ISAC). This group will establish the technical foundations for ISAC technology development and standardization of 6G.

87 participants from both the industrial sphere and the academic sphere took an active part in the kick-off meeting, which was held at ETSI premises in Sophia Antipolis, France, on 17 November 2023.

“Integrated Sensing and Communications add a new element of capability to the wireless network, enabling new innovative use cases in transport, urban environments, homes, and factories, ranging from object and intruder detection in predefined secure areas around critical infrastructures to fall detection and rain/pollution monitoring” explains Dr. Alain Mourad, Chair of the ISAC ISG.

The ETSI ISAC ISG’s mission is to enable ETSI members to coordinate their 6G pre-standard research efforts on ISAC, particularly across various European/National-funded collaborative projects, extended through relevant global initiatives, paving the way for the 6G standardization of the technology.

The ISG will target systematic outputs on ISAC into international standards organizations, namely future 3GPP 6G releases (e.g., R20+) and ITU-R IMT-2030 deliverables, related to ISAC requirements and evaluation methodologies.

Within this context, sensing refers to the use of radio signals to detect and estimate characteristics of target objects in the environment. By integrating sensing into the communications network, the network acts as a “radar” sensor, using its own radio signals to sense and comprehend the physical world in which it operates. This allows the network to collect data on the range, velocity, position, orientation, size, shape, image, materials of objects and devices.

The sensing data collected and processed by the network can then be leveraged to enhance the network’s own operations, augment existing services such as XR and digital twinning, and enable new services, such as gesture and activity recognition, object detection and tracking, along with imaging and environment reconstruction.

The ETSI ISAC ISG will define a prioritized set of 6G use cases and sensing types, along with a roadmap for their analysis and evaluation. It will focus on advanced 6G use cases and sensing types which are not expected to be covered by 3GPP Release 19. These advancements may potentially be included in future 6G releases of 3GPP. The group also aims to develop advanced channel models for ISAC use cases and sensing types, with validation through extensive measurement campaigns, addressing gaps in existing communications-based channel models (e.g., 3GPP, IEEE 802. ITU-R).

Output for architectures and deployment considerations, KPIs, and evaluation assumptions will also be provided. In parallel, the group will undertake two studies, with a first analysis of the privacy and security aspects associated with sensing data within the ISAC 6G framework, and a second analysis of the impact of widespread deployment of ISAC on the UN sustainable development goals. To get involved with this new activity, please contact [email protected]

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The idea of using a network to sense objects was also offered up by Nokia at MWC this year as a potential 6G use case. Head of Europe Rolf Werner told Telecoms.com:

“Temperature, wavelength, infrared, you can do stuff which goes all around. You can tune an airport [so you] don’t have to show a passport… you walk through because the network is able to gain information from everything you have… there’s a lot of stuff coming around. 6G in 2030 is our visionary year, or that’s when we think it will kick in. Of course a lot of things have to happen before that.”

ETSI’s ISG ISAC group will be producing a study around the privacy and security aspects around sensing which seems prudent, since there are bound to be some concerns raised about the potential implications of a network sensing all sorts of data points on people and objects if that becomes a key facet of the future 6G marketing machine.

About ETSI:

ETSI provides members with an open and inclusive environment to support the development, ratification, and testing of globally applicable standards for ICT systems and services across all sectors of industry and society. We are a non-profit body, with more than 900 member organizations worldwide, drawn from over 60 countries and five continents. Our members constitute a diverse pool of large and small private companies, research entities, academia, government, and public organizations. ETSI is officially recognized by the EU as a European Standardization Organization (ESO).

For more information, please visit us at https://www.etsi.org/

References:

https://www.etsi.org/newsroom/press-releases/2291-etsi-launches-a-new-group-for-integrated-sensing-and-communications-a-candidate-technology-for-6g

https://telecoms.com/524926/etsi-offers-up-integrated-sensing-and-communications-as-6g-selling-point/

ETSI NFV evolution, containers, kubernetes, and cloud-native virtualization initiatives

ETSI Telemetry Standard for Optical Access Networks to enhance FTTP QoE

ETSI Experiential Networked Intelligence – Release 2 Explained

Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) Market, Applications and ETSI MEC Standard-Part I

ETSI MEC Standard Explained – Part II

ETSI DECT-2020 approved by ITU-R WP5D for next revision of ITU-R M.2150 (IMT 2020)

SK Telecom, Samsung, HPE and Intel MOU for 5G NFV Technology Evolution; ETSI ISG-NFV?

 

 

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

Introduction:

At its 44th meeting in June 2023, ITU-R WP 5D finalized development of a draft new Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT.FRAMEWORK FOR 2030 AND BEYOND] on “Framework and overall objectives of the future development of IMT for 2030 and beyond.”  This draft recommendation is expected to be approved by year end 2023.

With the evolution of information and communications technologies, IMT-2030 is expected to support enriched and 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.

The objective of this Recommendation is to provide guidelines on the framework and overall objectives of the future development of IMT-2030 (aka “6G”).

In the next three years starting from 2024, ITU-R WP 5D will focus on the study of detailed technical performance requirements and the evaluation criteria and methodologies, paving the way for the technology proposal evaluation in the last phase of the IMT-2030 cycle, i.e. from 2027 to 2030.

Relationship between ITU-R (WP 5D) and 3GPP:

ITU-R WP 5D establishes the overall research and development direction, key performance indicators, as well as the standardization, commercialization, and spectrum roadmap for the new generation of IMT through a Framework Recommendation. It then moves on to defining the technical performance requirements to achieve the Framework.

After that, 3GPP develops detailed technical specifications that meet the requirements defined by the ITU-R recommendations and submits their specs to ITU-R WP5D (via ATIS) as a candidate radio interface technology.  5D then evaluates whether the 3GPP defined technology meets the requirements of the ITU-R (for 5G and presumably for 6G too). If it passes the evaluation process, it is approved as ITU-R Recommendation.

Figure 1. below shows these relationships:

Figure 1.  Relationship between ITU-R and 3GPP

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Motivation and societal considerations:

The motivation for the development of IMT-2030 is to continue to build an inclusive information society and to support the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs). To this end, IMT-2030 is expected to be an important enabler for achieving the following goals, among others:

Inclusivity: Bridging digital divides, to the maximum extent feasible, by ensuring access to meaningful connectivity to everyone.

Ubiquitous connectivity: To connect unconnected, IMT-2030 is expected to include affordable connectivity and, at minimum, basic broadband services with extended coverage, including sparsely populated areas.

Sustainability: Sustainability refers to the principle of ensuring that today’s actions do not limit the range of economic, social, and environmental options to future generations. IMT-2030 is envisaged to be built on energy efficiency, low power consumption technologies, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and use of resources under the circular economy model, in order to address climate change and contribute towards the achievement of current and future sustainable development goals.

Innovation: Fostering innovation with technologies that facilitate connectivity, productivity and the efficient management of resources. These technological advances will improve user experience and positively transform economies and lives everywhere.

Enhanced security, privacy and resilience: The future IMT system is expected to be secure and privacy-preserving by design. It is expected to have the ability to continue operating during and quickly recover from a disruptive event, whether natural or man-made. Making security, privacy and resilience key considerations in the design, deployment and operation of IMT-2030 systems is fundamental to achieving broader societal and economic goals.

Standardization and interoperability: To achieve wide industry support for IMT2030, future IMT systems are expected to be designed from the start to use transparently and member-inclusively standardized and interoperable interfaces, ensuring that different parts of the network, whether from the same or different vendors, work together as a fully functional system.

Interworking: IMT-2030 is expected to support service continuity and provide flexibility to users via close interworking with non-terrestrial network implementations, existing IMT systems and other non-IMT access systems. IMT-2030 is also expected to support smooth migration from existing IMT systems, where including support of connectivity to IMT-2020 and potentially IMT-Advanced devices will be advantageous for inclusivity.

User and application trends:   

Applications and services enabled by IMT-2030 are expected to connect humans, machines and various other things together. With the advances in human-machine interfaces, interactive and high-resolution video systems such as extended reality (XR) displays, haptic sensors and actuators, and/or multi-sensory (auditory, visual, haptic or gesture) interfaces, IMT-2030 is expected to offer humans immersive experiences that are virtually generated or happening remotely. On the other hand, machines are envisaged to be intelligent, autonomous, responsive, and precise due to advances in machine perception, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI). In the physical world, humans and machines are expected to continuously interact with each other, working with a digital world that extends the real world by using a large number of advanced sensors and AI. Such a digital world not only replicates but also affects the real world by providing virtual experiences to humans, and computation and control to machines.

IMT-2030 is expected to integrate sensing and AI-related capabilities into communication and serve as a fundamental infrastructure to enable new user and application trends. From these trends, it is expected that IMT-2030 provides a wide range of use cases while continuing to provide, inter alia,  direct voice support as an essential communication. Furthermore, IMT-2030 technology is expected to drive the next wave of digital economic growth, as well as sustainable far-reaching societal changes, digital equality and universal connectivity. IMT-2030 is expected to further enhance security, privacy, and resilience.

Source: Huawei

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Technology trends:

Report ITU-R M.2516 provides a broad view of future technical aspects of terrestrial IMT systems considering the timeframe up to 2030 and beyond, characterized with respect to key emerging services, applications trends, and relevant driving factors. It comprises a toolbox of technological enablers for terrestrial IMT systems, including the evolution of IMT through advances in technology and their deployment. In the following sub-sections, a brief overview of emerging technology trends and enablers, technologies to enhance the radio interface, and technologies to enhance the radio network are presented.

Emerging technology trends and enablers:

IMT-2030 is expected to consider an AI-native new air interface that uses AI to enhance the performance of radio interface functions such as symbol detection/decoding, channel estimation etc. An AI-native radio network would enable automated and intelligent networking services such as intelligent data perception, supply of on-demand capability etc. Radio networks that support AI services would be fundamental to the design of IMT technologies to serve various AI applications, and the proposed directions include on-demand uplink/sidelink-centric, deep edge, and distributed machine learning including federated learning.

The integration of sensing and communication functions in IMT-2030 systems would give new capabilities, enable innovative services and applications, and provide solutions with a higher degree of sensing accuracy. It would lead to benefits in enhancing performance and reducing overall cost, size, and power consumption of both systems, when it is combined with technologies such as AI, network cooperation, and multi-nodes cooperative sensing.

Computing services and data services are expected to become an integral component of the IMT2030 system. It is expected to include processing data at the network edge close to the data source for real-time responses, low data transport costs, high energy efficiency and privacy protection, as well as scaling out device computing capability for advanced application computing workloads.

Device-to-device wireless communication with extremely high throughput, ultra-accuracy positioning and low latency would be an important communication paradigm for IMT-2030. Technologies such as THz technology, ultra-accuracy sidelink positioning, and enhanced terminal power reduction can be considered to support new applications.

Typical use cases for the 6 usage scenarios of IMT-2030:

Immersive Communication
  • Communication for immersive XR, remote multi-sensory telepresence, and holographic communications
  • Mixed traffic of video, audio, and other environmental data in a time-synchronized manner
  • Standalone support of voice
Massive Communication
  • Expanded and new applications such as in smart cities, transportation, logistics, health, energy, environmental monitoring, and agriculture
  • Applications requiring a variety of IoT devices without batteries or with long-life batteries
Hyper Reliable & Low-Latency Communication
  • Communications in an industrial environment for full automation, control, and operation
  • Facilitating applications such as robotic interactions, emergency services, telemedicine, and monitoring for electrical power transmission and distribution
Ubiquitous Connectivity
  • IoT communication
  • Mobile broadband communication
Integrated AI and Communication
  • IMT-2030 assisted automated driving
  • Autonomous collaboration between devices for medical assistance applications
  • Offloading of heavy computation operations across devices and networks
  • Creation of and prediction with digital twins
  • IMT-2030 assisted collaborative robots (cobots)
Integrated Sensing and Communication
  • IMT-2030 assisted navigation
  • Activity detection and movement tracking (e.g., posture/gesture recognition, fall detection, vehicle/pedestrian detection)
  • Environmental monitoring (e.g., rain/pollution detection)
  • Provision of sensing data/information on surroundings for AI, XR, and digital twin applications (e.g. environment reconstruction, sensing fusion)

Source: Huawei

The Figure below summarizes the different dimensions of capabilities for IMT-2030, including 9 enhanced capabilities (peak data rate, user experienced data rate, spectrum efficiency, area traffic capacity, connection density, mobility, latency, reliability, and security/privacy/resilience) and 6 new capabilities (coverage, positioning, sensing-related capabilities, AI-related capabilities, sustainability, and interoperability). The range of values for the capabilities in the figure are estimated targets for research and investigation of IMT-2030. For each usage scenario, single or multiple values within the range would be developed in the future in other ITU-R Recommendations/Reports.

Source: Huawei

IMT-2030 envisages the use of a wide range of frequency bands ranging from sub-1 GHz up to sub-THz bands (low bands, mid bands (centimeterWave), mmWave bands and sub-THz bands). It expects that wider channel bandwidths may be needed to support future applications and services for IMT-2030 in a wide variety of deployments, including wide-area deployments. It is important to ensure that the current spectrum and newly assigned spectrum are harmonized.

 

References:

https://www.itu.int/md/R19-WP5D-230612-TD-0905/en  (RESTRICTED TO TIES USERS)

https://www.huawei.com/en/huaweitech/future-technologies/itu-r-wp5d-completed-recommendation-framework-imt-2030

https://research.samsung.com/blog/All-set-for-6G

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

Summary of ITU-R Workshop on “IMT for 2030 and beyond” (aka “6G”)

China’s MIIT to prioritize 6G project, accelerate 5G and gigabit optical network deployments in 2023

 

Keysight and partners make UK’s first 100 Gbps “6G” Sub-THz connection

Highlights:

  • Data link made at speeds greater than 100 Gbps at a frequency of 300 GHz using both 32 and 64 quadrature amplitude modulation
  • Achievement enabled by Keysight’s 6G sub-THz testbed platform

Keysight Technologies, Inc, in collaboration with National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and the University of Surrey, has made the first 6G connection at speeds greater than 100 gigabits per second (Gbps) over sub-terahertz (THz) frequencies in the U.K.

Future 6G use cases, such as augmented reality and autonomous vehicles, will require data throughput speeds from 100 Gbps to 1 terabit per second (Tbps). To achieve the extreme data speeds and low latencies required by these revolutionary use cases, the use of sub-THz frequencies is being explored. However, operations in sub-THz frequency bands introduce signal integrity and path loss challenges that can negatively impact performance.

Keysight, NPL, and the University of Surrey established the first sub-THz high throughput 6G testbed in the U.K. to address these challenges. Funded by the U.K. government for 6G research, NPL and Surrey scientists are using the testbed to study and characterize sub-THz signal performance to generate new techniques for optimizing data paths and calibration methodologies.

Located at NPL, this new 6G testbed achieved the U.K.’s first high-speed sub-THz data link. The demonstration was made at a frequency of 300 GHz using both 32 and 64 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM). Built on Keysight’s 6G Sub-Terahertz R&D Testbed, the testbed uses the M8194A Arbitrary Waveform Generator (AWG) combined with Virginia Diodes Inc. (VDI) upconverters / downconverters to generate the signal and Keysight’s UXR0704A Infiniium multichannel high-performance 70 GHz oscilloscope to analyze the signal.

Keysight, NPL, and the University of Surrey will demonstrate the new 6G testbed at the Spring 2023 6G Symposium at the University of Surrey, April 24-26.

Irshaad Fatadin, Principal Scientist, National Physical Laboratory, said: “6G is a key focus for NPL and we are using our scientific and measurement capabilities to tackle the challenges of this new technology. Our partnership with Keysight will be a critical success factor in our 6G research work.”

Mosaab Abughalib, Senior Research Director and General Manager for Keysight’s Network Emulation Group, said: “Through this partnership we are bringing Keysight solutions and experts together with scientists from NPL and the University of Surrey to unlock the true potential of 6G.”

Resources:

About Keysight in 6G:
Keysight creates the runway that enables researchers to launch evolutionary and revolutionary technology platform solutions based on 5G-Advanced and 6G technologies. A cohesive set of design and development building blocks across multiple interconnected technology domains enables innovators to spark new insights. Keysight plays a pivotal role in bringing to life 6G use cases that have the potential to transform society, enhance human interactions, enable enterprises to achieve greater efficiencies, and accelerate life-changing innovations.

About Keysight Technologies:

At Keysight (NYSE: KEYS), we inspire and empower innovators to bring world-changing technologies to life. As an S&P 500 company, we’re delivering market-leading design, emulation, and test solutions to help engineers develop and deploy faster, with less risk, throughout the entire product lifecycle. We’re a global innovation partner enabling customers in communications, industrial automation, aerospace and defense, automotive, semiconductor, and general electronics markets to accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world.

Learn more at Keysight Newsroom and www.keysight.com.

References:

https://www.keysight.com/us/en/about/newsroom/news-releases/2023/0424-pr23-070-keysight-makes-uk-s-first-100gbps-6g-sub-thz-conne.html

Enable-6G: Yet another 6G R&D effort spearheaded by Telefónica de España

China to introduce early 6G applications by 2025- way in advance of 3GPP specs & ITU-R standards

India unveils Bharat 6G vision document, launches 6G research and development testbed

NTT DOCOMO & SK Telecom Release White Papers on Energy Efficient 5G Mobile Networks and 6G Requirements

Juniper Research: 5G to Account for 80% of Operator Revenue by 2027; 6G Requires Innovative Technologies

China’s MIIT to prioritize 6G project, accelerate 5G and gigabit optical network deployments in 2023

China Mobile unveils 6G architecture with a digital twin network (DTN) concept

Summary of ITU-R Workshop on “IMT for 2030 and beyond” (aka “6G”)

India unveils Bharat 6G vision document, launches 6G research and development testbed

Despite being very late in rolling out 5G [1.], without TSDSI’s 5Gi ITU-R standard, India is ONCE AGAIN talking up 6G.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened the new United Nations’ ITU  area office and Innovation Centre on Wednesday and revealed the Bharat 6G Vision document and launched the 6G R&D Test Bed.

Note 1. Indian telecom service providers started to deploy 5G services in October 2022.

The Indian government’s Bharat 6G vision document was prepared by the Technology Innovation Group on 6G (TIG-6G), which was formed in November 2021 to build a roadmap and action plans for 6G in India, according to an official statement. Officials from Ministries/Departments, experts from research and development institutions, academia, standardisation bodies, telecom service providers, and business are among the members.

The 6G Test Bed will provide a platform for academic institutions, industry, start-ups, MSMEs, and industry, among others, to test and verify evolving ICT technologies.

The Bharat 6G Vision Document and 6G Test Bed, according to Centre, will create an enabling environment for innovation, capacity building, and faster technology adoption in India.

India PM Modi unveiling Bharat 6G vision document (Photo – PM Modi/YouTube)

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“Today India is the fastest 5G rollout country in the world. In just 120 days, 5G has been rolled out in more than 125 cities. Today 5G services have reached about 350 districts of the country. Moreover, today we are talking about 6G only after six months of 5G rollout and this shows India’s confidence,” Modi said, according to a transcript of his address at the inauguration of a new ITU Area Office & Innovation Center in New Delhi.  “Today we have also presented our vision document. This will become a major basis for 6G rollout in the next few years,” Modi added.

The Bharat 6G vision document foresees 6G  services launched in India by the second or third quarter of 2024. That would enable India to move ahead from 5G services in just 2 short years.  According to government sources, India’s 6G mission will be completed in two phases- 1] from 2023 to 2025 and 2] from 2026 to 2030.

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References:

https://www.hindustantimes.com/technology/pm-modi-unveils-bharat-6g-vision-document-launches-6g-test-bed-101679471474890.html

https://government.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/technology/prime-minister-modi-unveils-bharat-6g-vision-document-launches-6g-research-and-development-testbed/98912537

NTT DOCOMO & SK Telecom Release White Papers on Energy Efficient 5G Mobile Networks and 6G Requirements

Japan’s NTT DOCOMO and South Korean telecommunication operator SK Telecom (SKT) today announced their joint release of two white papers on energy-efficient 5G mobile networks and related technologies, as well as requirements for future 6G networks.  The release of the white papers is the first outcome of a basic agreement that NTT DOCOMO and SKT signed last November to explore opportunities for technical collaboration on next-generation telecommunication infrastructure technologies for 5G Evolution and 6G.
Editor’s Note: Neither ITU-R WP 5D or 3GPP has an approved document related to 6G network requirements.  The closest document is a work in progress at ITU-R WP 5D titled, “IMT Vision – Framework and overall objectives of the future development of IMT for 2030 and beyond.”
Regarding energy-efficient 5G mobile networks, the white paper reviews the following:

  • Possibilities to achieve greater energy savings based on energy consumption levels measured in the two companies’ respective base stations
  • Technical analysis of candidate energy-saving technologies, including both hardware and software
  • The roles that operators and equipment vendors should play, including the need for greater coordination, in the effort to achieve greater energy savings
Energy consumption of mobile network base stations
Energy consumption of mobile network base stations

For 6G, the paper reviews requirements and challenges including specific performance levels and implementation scenarios, focusing on technical issues of particular importance to mobile operators:

  • Performance requirements and implementation scenarios for each frequency band, taking into account the characteristics of each frequency
  • Issues concerning coverage and devices in high-frequency bands
  • Standardization for migration to 6G architecture and application of cloud-native / open architecture
Study of 6G Requirements
Study of 6G Requirements

Going forward, NTT DOCOMO and SKT will continue to collaborate in various technical fields, aiming to enhance the competitiveness and operational efficiency of 5G as well as support the global standardization and technical verification of 6G. They will also collaborate with global telecom operators on 6G standardization and R&D with the goal of building a global ecosystem that encompasses advanced industries and technologies.

“The white papers carry a significant meaning as they mark the first tangible result since entering into a strategic partnership with NTT DOCOMO last year,” said Yu Takki, Vice President and Head of Infra Tech Office of SKT. “Based on our experience and knowhow in 5G, we will continue to collaborate with world-leading operators such as NTT DOCOMO to lead 5G evolution towards 6G.”

Takehiro Nakamura, Chief Technology Architect, NTT DOCOMO, said: “We are delighted to jointly announce two white papers on green mobile networks and 6G requirements as our collaborative achievements with SKT started in November 2022. We will continue to enhance cooperation among the two major Asian mobile operators and promote superior concepts and innovative technologies to the world for the 6G deployment.”

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