China Mobile is stepping up its push to grow its influence on the global telecom 6G stage by partnering with dozens of multinational telecom carriers and equipment makers to unveil the latest white book on the next frontier in wireless technology.
The white book, 6G Requirements and Design Considerations, is also part of a broader push by China Mobile — the world's largest mobile carrier by subscriber numbers — to have a bigger say in drafting future global standards for 6G.
The white book details the development path 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.
The project is led by 16 telecom operators including China Mobile, with 23 equipment manufacturers and 13 research institutions also taking part.
Currently, there is still no universally accepted definition of 6G, but the technology is expected to have far lower latency, higher speeds and more bandwidth than 5G.
Yi Zhiling, chief scientist at the China Mobile Research Institute, said earlier the next three to five years will provide a window for identifying crucial 6G technologies and lay a solid foundation for the industry.
In the past, Chinese companies had worked with international organizations to establish standards for 3G, 4G and 5G technologies. They should increase their partnerships and cooperation with foreign counterparts "to promote the formation of globally unified 6G standards", Yi said.
Jin Zhuanglong, minister of industry and information technology, the nation's top industry regulator, said earlier this month that China had already 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.
Wen Ku, secretary-general of the China Communications Standards Association, said the European Union, the United States, Japan, South Korea and other countries and regions have all initiated research on 6G.
It is important to balance the use of 5G and R&D of 6G, as long-term strategies are needed to develop both technologies. "Advancing the use of 5G is like building a good bridge and road for 6G," Wen said.
Currently, China is at the global forefront of 5G development. The country had set up more than 2.54 million 5G base stations as of February, with mobile subscribers of 5G surpassing 575 million. And China will build 600,000 5G base stations this year, said the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
China has also made progress in stepping up global cooperation on 6G. In June, the IMT-2030 (6G) Promotion Group inked an agreement on 6G with the 6G Smart Networks and Services Industry Association (6G-IA), which is the voice of European industry and research into next-generation networks and services.