NTT DoCoMo: ‘6G will greatly exceed the performance of 5G’
Despite 5G being in its early stages of deployment, many in the telecom industry believe that now is the right time to prepare for future 6G systems. NTT DoCoMo, Fujitsu and NEC are among those ready to look beyond 5G and begin to explore what might be next for cellular technology. In service of this goal, the companies announced joint 6G trials, with indoor trials scheduled for this year, followed by outdoor trials in March 2023. Commercial services are expected to launch in 2030. 6G technologies have not yet been standardized.
Specifically, DoCoMo and Fujitsu aim to establish 6G wireless technologies for sub-THz communication using 100 GHz and 300 GHz band. A critical technology here will be distributed MIMO(4), which refers to multiple sub-terahertz wave antennas that are dispersed to simultaneously emit radio waves from multiple directions to a receiving terminal.
The companies hope that the trials will lead to technologies that are “resistant to obstruction” and “realizes stable high-speed wireless communication over 100 Gbps.” Fujitsu stated that in order to keep speed and capacity high, while size and power remains low, it must develop high-frequency wireless devices that utilize compound semiconductors such as gallium nitride (GaN) and indium phosphorus (InP).
According to DoCoMo, results from the trials will be reported to global research groups, international conferences and “will serve as a foundation for more advanced technologies.” Specifically, the trials will explore numerous new mobile technologies needed for 6G, including the use of the millimeter and sub-terahertz (above 6 GHz) bands and AI-based wireless transmission methods.
“We are pleased to expand our collaboration with Docomo and NTT in the development of 6G, which represents an important foundation that will accelerate the fusion of the digital and real world, connect things and experiences on a global scale, and provide new value to society,” said Atsuo Kawamura, executive vice president, NEC. “Moreover, this will contribute to the achievement of the NTT Group’s IOWN initiative as we actively promote research and development toward the realization of 6G and a more prosperous society.”
DoCoMo further commented in a press release that 6G will “greatly exceed the performance of 5G” and “expand communication coverage in the sky, at sea and in space.”
Naoki Tani, executive vice president and chief technology officer at DOCOMO, said that 6G studies are progressing faster than those for 5G, and so the company thinks now is the right time to kickstart verification trials. “From this early stage, we would like to collaborate with world-leading global vendors to proactively demonstrate breakthrough concepts and technologies and promote them to the world,” he added.