In order to provide users with a full-fledged immersive experience, 6G will inevitably replace 5G networks, experts said at the inaugural Samsung 6G Forum held virtually by tech giant Samsung Electronics on Friday.
Since it takes about a decade to enable the next-generation wireless network and the world sees more and more applications that require massive data processing, work to deploy the next-generation network technology should start now, experts also said.
Sebastian Seung, President and Head of Samsung Research, said in a speech that 6G is key to advancing the level of hyperconnectivity from that of 5G, enabling more immersive extended reality, holograms and digital replicas. Samsung Research is an internal think tank of South Korea’s largest conglomerate.
This stems from the explosive increase in connected machines that increase network bandwidth utilization and the need to manage complexity using artificial intelligence and machine learning.
“To enable such services, 6G should support huge amount of real-time data processing, ultra-fast data throughput and extremely low latency,” Seung said.
Seung added that now is the time to start preparing for 6G, echoing suggestions from his white papers, which suggested 6G is 50 times faster than 5G and has a tenth the latency of 5G.
“Shaping 6G will take many years, as we’ve seen in previous generations,” Seung said.
Experts have noted the gap between 5G and 6G in terms of capacity.
Jeffrey Andrews, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, told the audience that the “situational awareness” in the 6G network – in addition to the huge data capacity and mass connectivity – will redefine the operation of driverless cars and ubiquitous robots.
The next-generation network will allow autonomous mobile objects to sense things and know things outside of their own line of sight, according to Andrews.
“(An autonomous car or robot) needs to know more than it can feel itself,” Andrews said.
“Base stations in 6G will be dense and tower-mounted, and it’s the perfect place to place many sensors such as radar, lidar, visual sensors and other forms of sensing, to create unprecedented network awareness.”
Another speaker at the event who echoed this view was Tarik Taleb, a professor at the University of Oulu in Finland. Although the 5G network has introduced the concept of cloud computing and software engineering to the telecommunications world, there is still a technological hurdle it faces with the 5G standard, Taleb said.
“When it comes to whether the system is truly cloud-native, whether there is service extensibility, and whether the network is truly open, in my opinion, the 5G core design does not meet these requirements today. today,” Taleb said.
The question, however, is whether the world would be able to control the cost of a 6G network, given the expensive technology packages required.
“We can’t just roll out all these different networks, and the base stations will definitely have to be very dense,” Andrews said.
“So for this to be profitable, there needs to be an unprecedented amount of infrastructure sharing, cooperation and reuse between different operators and different applications,” he said.
The event comes amid calls for preemptive collaborative efforts between different vendors and network operators to lay the groundwork for immersive user experiences.
The global 6G network market size is expected to reach $40.99 billion by 2032 as the new network standard is expected to be commercialized, according to an estimate by Brandessence Market Research.
South Korea is gearing up to gain a competitive advantage in 6G technology. Korea filed 4.2% of total 6G patents worldwide, ranking fourth among countries filing such patents after China, the United States and Japan, according to a study jointly conducted by the research firm. Cyber Creative Institute and Japan-based news organization Nikkei Asia in August 2021.
The Yoon Suk-yeol administration is seeking to develop at least 48 key technologies related to the 6G standard by 2026, its policy roadmap has revealed. This follows a 220 billion won ($171.5 million) investment pledge in the previous Moon Jae-in administration’s five-year plan unveiled in 2021.
Samsung has been researching 6G-related technologies internally since 2019, aiming for global standardization of 6G technology. Additionally, Samsung Research Senior Engineer Choi Hyung-jin has been leading the International Telecommunication-Radiocommunication Union’s 6G Vision Group since last year.
At the Samsung 6G Forum, Samsung unveiled a set of selected 6G candidate technologies, including terahertz communication, reconfigurable smart surface, advanced duplex technology, and native AI.
Regarding 5G penetration, the tech giant has provided 5G network equipment to countries like Korea, the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.