Commercialization of 6G expected to be realized around 2030 in China: observers

2023-06-16 09:04:36Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

It is necessary to accelerate research and development of 6G mobile network which will realize the deep integration of physical and virtual worlds, as the next generation mobile technology will be combined with advanced information technology like cloud computing, artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain.

The next-generation 6G is the main trend for the development of the global mobile communication industry, and now, the world's major economies are competing in 6G research and development in order to lead the new tech.

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) ratcheted up efforts to promote the comprehensive development of 6G on June 4 at PT Expo China. The ministry said 6G will almost certainly lead the Chinese economy to a much higher level, and open up a brand-new cyber landscape.

China has rolled out the world's largest and also most advanced 5G network. New forms of industrial internet integration are flourishing. The information and communication industry has effectively driven the transformation of the real economy, according to MIIT.

High on agenda

"Yes, 6G will be commercially available around 2030 in China, and 3GPP (an international organization on telecom technology development) is expected to start 6G standardization in 2025. As the day is drawing near, 6G R&D has reached a key breakthrough period now," Huang Yuhong, general manager of the China Mobile Research Institute, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Huang noted that in order to realize 6G commercialization by 2030, the base stations for forming 6G networks should be ready around 2029. According to the International Telecom Union's 6G vision, the global telecom industry will likely verify 6G innovations in the coming 3-4 years.

Huang said China started 6G technology R&D in 2019. After four years, Chinese enterprises, universities and scientific institutions have made breakthroughs in some key 6G technologies, such as new network architecture, integration of communication, AI for network and network for AI, and sensing reconfigurable intelligent surface, laying a strong foundation for 6G exploration.

"Regarding 6G R&D, research teams may initially have to figure out 6G transmission speed and other improvements. Our country has come up with a dual-carbon goal, and green development weighs heavily in national development. Therefore, low energy consumption, low carbon emissions became a must of our R&D for 6G, and at the same time we take into more consideration on lower cost, high flexible, high security and reliable, high deterministic, especially for industry customers." 

"To achieve a successful 6G development, we think global cooperation for one global standard, open and diversified ecosystem is important," said Huang.

Strengths, difficulties

In fact, China has made progresses in developing 6G technology. For example, in mid-April, China made a breakthrough in 6G research, using terahertz orbital angular momentum for the first time to conduct real-time wireless transmission communication experiment, which was made by the Second Research Institute of China Aerospace Science and Industry Co (CASIC).

The success means the bandwidth utilization would be increased to its maximum, providing important support for the development of 6G in China, according to a statement sent from CASIC to the Global Times.

As a new spectrum technology, terahertz communication can provide larger transmission bandwidth and meet higher-speed transmission requirements, and it has become one of the key technologies of 6G communication, the research institute said.

The Asia Pacific region will lead the global 6G market and will hold the largest value share of the global 6G market due to increasing emphasis on satellite communications and technological improvements, said MRFR.

According to MIIT, China will continue to enhance its full-industrial-chain advantages in mobile and optical communication.

"China is leading in all aspects of 5G global standards, and we have made breakthroughs in use scenarios such as smart factories, smart ports, and smart mines, and China is in a relatively leading position in the world. Regarding 6G, we will integrate the telecommunication experience and capabilities and we will be in a better position compared to other countries," Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Beijing-based Information Consumption Alliance, told the Global Times.

But analysts also mentioned the challenges related with 6G R&D, because 6G networks are extremely complex, and related technical standards have not been determined yet. 

What's more, the technology are still in the laboratory exploration stage, and 6G network is "a new thing" for all participants in the industry, Zhang Xiaorong, director of the Beijing-based Cutting-Edge Technology Research Institute, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Tech accumulation

"Chinese telecom operators have advantages in network transmission, operation and developing intelligent terminals, which will help technological accumulation," said Zhang.

Although 5G networks have not yet been rolled out globally, technological iteration is bound to have a profound impact on human life. What 6G technology can bring to the world remains largely unknown.

According to industry observers, 6G technology will achieve worldwide signal coverage, no matter in deep mountain valleys or deserts or oceans. More importantly, the 6G network will be closely integrated with AI evolution, and people may see fully automated transportation hubs, more intelligent medical care means, smart city management and more.

The theoretical transmission capacity of 6G is 100 times that of 5G, for 5G is based on the ground and uses a large number of base stations, while 6G will be based on satellites and uses ultrahigh frequency spectrum, said Zhang.

Zhang noted that 5G is mainly linked to Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT), while 6G can be seen as an expansion of 5G technology, covering space, mountains and oceans, expanding the network into a global wireless network.


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