The initial commercial deployments of 6G technology are forecast to take place between 2028 and 2029, according to global tech market advisory firm ABI Research.
The research firm also said it expects the first standards for 6G to be ready by 2026.
“X Reality (XR), which is a combination of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR), is a promising solution for 6G to create a mixed real and virtual environment with either real-time or non-real-time human-machine interaction,” said Jiancao Hou, 5G and mobile network infrastructure senior analyst at ABI Research.
“Self-organization and self-healing capabilities of a network to support autonomous driving, drone swarming, and pervasive networking are also critical to reduce the time and cost of network deployment and offer greater mobile coverage,” the analyst said. “In the 2030s, 6G could be the key enabler to realizing ubiquitous connectivity with a wide range of devices/sensors using in diverse communication environments.”
Since 2018, the 6G Flagship Program in Finland, led by the University of Oulu, has been validating theoretical research and providing early industry prototyping. Many other countries, including China, South Korea, the European Union, and the United States have also launched projects, programs, and alliances to shape the 6G framework and main business focus.
Standardization and relative authorities, such as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), have also shown great interest in supporting potential 6G use case and requirement studies.
“Processing complexity and energy consumption of devices and infrastructure hardware are main factors that could limit advanced wireless technologies’ development progress,” Hou said. “Dynamic spectrum and computing resource allocation and highly efficient interference mitigation algorithm designs are also the keys to offering guaranteed network service and user experience. With the advent of big data, cloud-native computing and networking, AI/ML, and open source, networks’ security and users’ privacy are becoming even crucial and will be well addressed by 6G,” Hou added.
Chinese vendor Huawei expects 6G technologies to hit the market by around 2030, the company’s rotating chairman, Eric Xu, recently said at Huawei global analyst conference.
The executive noted that Huawei is currently working to define the main specifications of 6G technology, adding that the company may release a 6G white paper soon. “We are working with other players in the industry to define what 6G actually is. Maybe in the near future, we will be launching our 6G white paper. We want to discuss with businesses and consumers about what 6G will look like. Driven by our vision and the possible definition of 6G, we are also researching basic science and cutting-edge technologies, aiming to realize the 6G that we define together.”
Xu also noted that the future development of 6G will depend on the potential use cases that would require the support of this technology.
Last month, the German government said it plans to provide up to 700 million euros (currently $852 million) in financing for research into 6G technologies by 2025. The ministry said that the aim of the first funding measure is to create the basis for an innovation ecosystem for future communication technologies around 6G