Telcos jump on 6G bandwagon

2023-06-30 09:36:52China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

A visitor checks out ST MEMS' sports gear during the 2023 MWC Shanghai on Wednesday. (GAO ERQIANG/CHINA DAILY)

Chinese telecom operators are showcasing their early technological muscle in 6G, the next-generation wireless technology that has become a key battleground for a new round of innovation and industrial transformation.

The moves came after the research and development of 6G enters a speeding-up period, with the International Telecommunication Union having approved a 6G vision framework, a foundational document for global 6G work, earlier this month.

Gao Tongqing, deputy general manager of China Mobile, said on Thursday at the 2023 Mobile World Congress Shanghai — a telecom industry event — that now is a key time to identify crucial 6G technologies and the company will work hard to strengthen tech convergence and innovation.

The company kicked off its 6G public experimental verification platform at the Shanghai event, which will provide an open and scenario-based joint R&D testing environment for industrial partners, support the verification of various new business and application scenarios, and lower the R&D threshold for 6G key technologies.

Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Information Consumption Alliance, a telecom industry association, said that in the past, Chinese companies had worked with international organizations to establish standards for 3G, 4G and 5G technologies. They should enhance their partnerships and cooperation with their foreign counterparts "to promote the formation of globally unified 6G standards".

China Mobile is moving in that direction. It is stepping up its push to grow its influence in the global 6G telecom stage by partnering with dozens of multinational telecom carriers and equipment makers to unveil a white paper on the next frontier in wireless technology.

The document, "6G Requirements and Design Considerations", is led by 16 telecom operators including China Mobile, with 23 equipment manufacturers and 13 research institutions also taking part.

The paper details the development path needed to achieve digital inclusion, energy efficiency, environmental sustainability and flexible deployment, as well as new capability requirements for future use cases alongside proposed 6G system architecture and design considerations.

Liang Baojun, deputy general manager of China Unicom, also highlighted the company's determination to accelerate R&D of 6G by promising efforts to tackle key technologies.

China Unicom will promote close collaboration between the industry, the academic community and research institutes to carry out collaborative innovation in 6G unified network architecture and technologies, Liang said.

The moves came after Minister of Industry and Information Technology Jin Zhuanglong said earlier this month that China will make an extensive push to promote R&D of 6G as it works to establish a beachhead in the future tech frontier.

China has established the IMT-2030 (6G) Promotion Group, a flagship platform in China promoting 6G and international cooperation, and will speed up the R&D of 6G technology.

As the next-generation mobile communication technology, 6G will integrate with advanced computing, big data, artificial intelligence and blockchain, according to a white paper issued by the IMT-2030 (6G) Promotion Group.

The group said the world expects to see commercialization of 6G around 2030, and the 6G network will realize deep integration of the physical and virtual worlds, and build a new world featuring the intelligent connection of everything.


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