Industry Must Move Together as 5G Maps the Road Towards 6G
There was a time when 3D holographic communications was a fantasy; something depicted in George Lucas’s “Star Wars” movies but far from everyday.
However, “what was once science fiction is now becoming reality,” said Andre Fuetsch, chief technology officer of AT&T, on Monday. Speaking at the Brooklyn 6G Summit, he divulged that AT&T has already delivered immersive 3D holographic communications in partnership with Ericsson.
In another futuristic development, AT&T is currently teaming up with Microsoft’s Azure to develop a real-time response for drone control allowing drones to be maneuvered with much more precision in sophisticated operations.
These types of developments will become much more available and useful when 6G becomes available.
And 6G will also alleviate the current data traffic slowdown, which appears to be outrunning even 5G deployment. The pandemic has increased data traffic on AT&T’s network by 40% on an average day, a number which was expected pre-COVID, Fuetsch added.
And the demand for fixed and mobile data is just going to continue to increase, he said.
In the race to 5G, the evolution from 4G to 5G happened quickly, pointed out Tommi Uitto, president of mobile networks at Nokia MN. Now, with about 169 global live 5G networks, it is no longer about who gets the first 5G network with the highest speed deployed to the market, but how operators will come up with new opportunities for consumers and enterprises alike throughout the evolution of 5G and on to 6G. Holographic communications might then become commonplace.
However, 5G is still in its early stages. In South Korea, which Uitto described as the most “progressive 5G market in the world,” about 26% to 30% of subscriptions are 5G-enabled with about a third of its mobile traffic carried on 5G networks.
The U.S. and leading European markets, however, only have about 5% to 10%.
And the transition from 5G to 6G must be smooth, or “interlinked” as Mikael Hook, director of radio research at Ericsson, said. The identified technology components, services and needs to support 6G, he said, that will begin to enter into play during the era of 5G, should be developed with an eye toward use for 6G.
According to Nishant Batra, chief strategy and technology officer at Nokia, moving from advanced 5G to 6G, video will move on to fully immersive user experiences through the application of extended reality – also known as XR, which is a mix of real and virtual environments – to holographic communications.
Enhanced localization and sensing in advanced 5G will lift the level of precision of location to a whole new dimension by complementing and helping global navigation satellite systems, particularly important to industrial automation, he said, where “you need precision down to [a] few centimeters.” In 6G, coupling a network with those sensors “will provide a network with a 6th sense.”
There will be surprising development of useful, enticing and highly precise technology, but, he pointed out, it is essential that the industry continue the overarching themes of deglobalization, security and sustainability.
In the transition from 5G to 6G, Batra explained, the industry must move together in step. And it is imperative that it does so under one global standard to better help the consumer, the society and the global economy. For example, cybersecurity, which he said faces an estimated threat of $10.5 trillion in crimes by 2025, is a “right, middle and center” issue to be tackled by the industry as a whole.
Last but not least is ensuring 5G sustainability, both in working together to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint by 50% between 2019 and 2030, and ensuring that the networks can handle the traffic that is expected to grow 27 times by 2025.
This evolution from 5G, to advanced 5G and then to 6G will “redefine how we live, work, and take care of the planet…due to the massive scale deployment of sensors powered by artificial and machine learning,” Batra said, charging that “that’s the responsibility we, as partners in this industry, have to take on.”
Victoria can be reached at [email protected]
In The News
WASHINGTON — House Democrats late Tuesday night released the America COMPETES Act, a mammoth, 2,912-page bill aimed at boosting high... Read More
WASHINGTON — House Democrats late Tuesday night released the America COMPETES Act, a mammoth, 2,912-page bill aimed at boosting high tech research and ending, once and for all, the semiconductor crisis that has caused rippling supply chain disruptions and put a serious, if temporary, crimp on... Read More
WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee approved antitrust legislation Thursday that bans Big Tech from giving a preference to their... Read More
WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee approved antitrust legislation Thursday that bans Big Tech from giving a preference to their own products and services on their internet platforms. The American Innovation and Choice Online Act responds to criticism that Amazon, Apple, Google and Meta Platforms Inc.’s... Read More
WASHINGTON — A digital ledger of transactions known as blockchain, that can protect an individual’s identity and information, is evolving... Read More
WASHINGTON — A digital ledger of transactions known as blockchain, that can protect an individual’s identity and information, is evolving in the health care space into decentralized patient-centric platforms. “Think of blockchain as an underlying technology that supports everything. It’s a ledger of knowing what happened,... Read More
WASHINGTON — AT&T and Verizon on Tuesday agreed to delay their rollout of new 5G services near some unspecified airports... Read More
WASHINGTON — AT&T and Verizon on Tuesday agreed to delay their rollout of new 5G services near some unspecified airports over ongoing concerns that moving those services to a new band could cause flight disruptions. Debate has been raging for months over whether — and if... Read More
When April Schneider's children returned to in-person classrooms this year, she thought they were leaving behind the struggles from more... Read More
When April Schneider's children returned to in-person classrooms this year, she thought they were leaving behind the struggles from more than a year of remote learning. No more problems with borrowed tablets. No more days of missed lessons because her kids couldn't connect to their virtual... Read More
SAN FRANCISCO — Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday announced the creation of a nonprofit legal defense fund geared... Read More
SAN FRANCISCO — Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday announced the creation of a nonprofit legal defense fund geared towards defending Bitcoin developers from litigation. Dorsey announced the fund in a mailing list for Bitcoin developers and said its purpose was to aid software developers... Read More