Fujitsu’s Vision of B5G and 6G

NTT and Fujitsu announced their strategic business alliance toward the “Realization of a Sustainable Digital Society,” leveraging their respective strengths to deliver innovation that contributes to the resolution of societal and environmental challenges. The following is an extract from press release:

The two companies envision a new, energy-efficient digital society founded on global and open collaboration with a wide range of partners supporting the IOWN (Innovative Optical and Wireless Network) initiative.

Specifically, Fujitsu and NTT will conduct joint research and development activities toward the realization of a variety of energy efficient, sustainable technologies in areas including open architecture optical transport and mobile communications, combined with disaggregated high-performance computing, all of which are made possible by photonics-electronics convergence device innovation.

Specific initiatives are as follows:

  1. Establishing Photonics-Electronics Convergence Manufacturing Technology
  2. Promotion of Open Communication Technologies (Optical Transport and Mobile Communications)
  3. Joint R&D for Low Power Consumption in High-Performance Computing (disaggregated computing infrastructure)

On April 1, 2021, Fujitsu established the "IOWN/6G Platform Development Office" with the aim of developing technologies for the IOWN initiative and the 6G era. Research and development are now in full swing. Fujitsu aims to provide new value to a wide range of customers in areas including manufacturing, distribution, retail, and medical industries by leveraging the fruits of the alliance for solution services and platforms that benefit people's lives and society as a whole. The two companies will continue to proactively discuss further specific areas of collaboration under this alliance.

In an article, Shuji Miyata, IOWN/6G Platform Development Office Director at Fujitsu explained what Fujitsu is doing to bring 6G into society. Selected extracts below:

For the realization of a 6G society, infrastructure needs to be advanced in a more open way, which led Fujitsu, with our vision for a richer society and forward-thinking telecommunications technology, to partner with NTT, the leader in communications who proposed the detailed IOWN initiative.

Initiatives toward 6G have only just begun so it’s difficult to predict what the future will be like, but I’d like to give my thoughts on what could be in store for us. First, holograms can be thought of as something that spreads things that we can see and things that feel like air. There are many people who would probably envision a space movie, but 3-D images would appear, move, speak, and even communicate. I believe we could create a more dramatically real world than with 5G. Secondly, avatars could create possibilities that will have a major impact on our work and lifestyles. The application of avatars which are part of us in networks of various services have already taken root, but I believe avatars will advance even further in a 6G society. Avatars will learn a user’s knowledge and knowhow and operate independently. With 6G, the avatar will take on stylized work, translation, and business networking. These are merely examples, but I think 6G networks will prove to be very powerful for making transmission of hologram data and fast avatars possible.

The realization of a 6G society does not begin and end with the pursuit of convenience. The innovation from 5G to 6G continues without interruption, but you could say that 6G is different from 5G due to its capability to substantially resolve social issues with its improvements to convenience.

The realization of the popularization of holograms and fast avatars, as I mentioned as examples earlier, will greatly change the way that we work. Remote work will become smoother than ever and choosing where to work will no longer been an issue. It will be a world where communication will transgress space and time and experiences will be possible. In other words, ideas and knowledge can gather in a world where the limits of location, age, language, etc. can be crossed. If that is possible, then we can expect to solve more complicated social issues. By concentrating the world’s knowledge, a world where everyone can live safely and securely can be realized. This is the 6G society we are aiming for.

Additionally, massive amounts of energy will be required for 6G to be even faster and have a higher capacity of data communication than 5G. Through our technological innovations, we aim to greatly limit the whole infrastructure’s electricity consumption. Specifically, as in the IOWN initiative that NTT proposed with us, we have made it our goal to only consume 1/100 of electricity needed.

With NTT’s cooperation, we want to create a foundation for realizing a 6G society. However, in order for 6G to actually benefit society at the consumer level, not just the foundation for infrastructure, but several new services must also be created. We’ve made it our goal to set up the platform technology for actualizing a 6G society, and this platform introduces innovative things like advanced computing technology, etc. We are aiming for an open approach so our many partners can participate. In 2030, several services will be born, and we are striving to realize a society where we can respond to the several issues that will arise in such a diverse and fast-changing society.

Though it may seem far away, we must take action now to reach our SDGs by 2030. We believe the partnership between Fujitsu and NTT is a great step forward toward a sustainable and futuristic digital society.

In the recent Fujitsu Technology and Service Vision 2021 presentation, they have taken their Borderless Office concept and extended it to Borderless experience in future. As can be seen in the slide above:

Connected technologies are breaking the boundaries between physical and digital spaces, enabling new, human-centric, digital experiences. Digital experiences will be enhanced almost to a physical level, while physical experiences will be augmented by digital. Reality is no longer just one physical experience, or two distinct physical and digital experiences. People will be able to move flexibly between the different realities.

Human experience: Virtual Reality (VR) enhances digital experiences, while Augmented Reality (AR) brings digital experiences into a physical space.

Sense computing: Based on real-time data from sensors, AI technology understands a person’s contextual situation, reading emotions from their facial expressions and voices to deliver personalized experiences.

5G and beyond: Ultra-high-speed, low-latency, multiconnection 5G technology and the subsequent beyond-5G/6G technology will connect people, things and data, enabling the transmission of massive amounts of video data and the creation of teleportation-like experiences.

Looking forward to hearing more from them on 5G and beyond.

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