What?! 5G is not year yet and I am proposing to start talking about 6G?
Well, as an excuse, let me say that I am not the only one, and talking about 6G is a way to demystify 5G.
It may also be appropriate to point out that someone believes there will never be a 6G (!) because if 5G is done properly it will be an open collection of technologies and systems that will simply grow over time.
Although I agree that 5G is potentially an open cluster of technologies and systems providing a unifying umbrella and as such anything can fall under it I do not agree that it will be the end of the story, because:
- marketing will need a 6G as soon as 5G will be deployed
- researchers will have to mark the novelty of what they will be working on
- 5G will not be as open as we might desire and hence will not be able to accommodate any new development
Of the three reasons, of course, the one based on marketing need is the strongest.
At the IEEE FDC, within the Industry Advisory Board -IAB-, we have been discussing the evolution of wireless systems, focussing on 5G, and in that context we came up with an outline of 6G. I had a nice talk just few days ago with Ezio Zerbini who has been with Ericsson for quite a while and always a good sparring partner in discussing the future of telecommunications. He has a very in depth knowledge of what it takes to evolve a telecommunications system and what are the real customers need for such an evolution.
Well, at the IAB we stated that the 6G will be a significant evolution from 5G for its capability of self aggregating networks of different types. Whilst 5G should be able to accommodate different types of networks (technologies) 6G will be able to take the lead to aggregate them to satisfy needs arising in a dynamic way.
Ezio gave me his vision of 6G that is not that much different from the one we gave: 6G networks will embed planning into the network itself, meaning that the network will become aware of the way it is being used, what is actually required by its users at this specific moment and what it is likely to be required at a later time and it will be able to plan for its evolution by reconfiguring its resources and by “asking” vested parties to provide additional resources coming up with a convincing reason and a convincing business plan.
To do that the 6G network will need to be an autonomous system, able to learn and make prediction, develop a convincing plan and negotiate it with a variety of stakeholders. This, if you think about it, is an amazing prospect, an infrastructure that becomes self aware and able to plan and foster its own evolution.
6G will become a reality beyond 2035, that is in the right timeframe when we expect Artificial Intelligence to match our own and autonomous systems to live in a symbiotic relation with us.
|95-20||Digital GSM||V.I., Pre-paid cards
Initial disruption of fixed line biz
loss of service controlfrom second part of first decade
|+ WiFi / MIMO
services provided by many third parties (Apps)
|15-30||4G – max spectrum efficiency,
native Ip support, MIMO
|Flat rate increasingly dominates. Fixed Mobile offers||+ V2X
WiFi +BlueT as device to device comm
|20-40||5G – carriers aggregation,
session mgt in the device
|Disaggregated at the edges, device led, access providers both from Telecom||Unlicensed frequencies abound
and from other industries
|30-50||6G – self aggregating communications fabric.
Planning becomes part of the infrastructure itself that acts like a self standing autonomous system
|Infrastructures as regulated “natural” commodities.||Ad hoc communications fabric provided by third parties as part of their non-telco biz
Most products create a communication space that autonomously aggregate into networks