6G = 3C + 3D

Dr. Mallik Tatipamula is the CTO of Ericsson Group Function Technologies & Architectures based in Silicon Valley, responsible for innovation, incubation, technology strategy & leadership efforts focusing on 5G, distributed cloud/edge compute, SDN/NFV, AI/ML and Internet of Things (IoT).

In a LinkedIn post some months back, he talked about giving a guest lecture on Network Softwarization to grad students across University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, ETS, and Université Laval. The following is a reproduction of that post:

Here is a brief overview on "past, present and future of mobile networks" delivered in this lecture:

Transitioning from 1G to 2G was mainly moving analog to digital communications offering Voice/SMS services. 3G used CDMA, with more spectrum efficiency and some data capability with IP (Internet Protocol) integration offering mobile internet services at 155Kb/sec. 4G was a huge jump with Mb/sec speeds, adopting MIMO-OFDM technology and all-IP integration enabling voice over LTE, ushering in mobile broadband (birth of app economy on smart phones).

5G retained MIMO-OFDM but added higher frequency bands with extensive beamforming, enabling Gb/sec speeds, and network transitioning to cloud native.

5G usecases: 1) eMBB (digital experiences such as AR/VR), 2) massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC), 3) Low-latency Industrial IoT usecases.

5G technology enablers: 1) Network Slicing enables multiple virtual networks over common 5G infrastructure. 2) "Control User-Plane Separation (CUPS)” allows flexibility of deploying user plane functions literally within meters of distance from the users, reducing the latency. 3) “Distributed Cloud” allows operators to move computing (processing) and AI/ML (training/inferencing) closer to the points, where data are generated/used, rather than sending the data to and from central data centers. These enabled integration of 5G with edge compute and AI.

I concluded with introduction of 6G:

Usecases: 1)Internet of Senses: extending digital experience with multi-sensory experiences, 2) Connected Intelligent Machines: traffic in future is likely to be dominated by connected intelligent machines communicating with each other, 3) Digital, Programmable & Physical World: In future, everything will have a digital representation, making the physical world fully programmable & automated, 4)Sustainable World: Digitalization, ICT, & mobile networks are helping to tackle some of the global challenges that  the world is facing today

Technology enablers: Extreme connectivity (terrestrial non-terrestrial integration, higher frequency bands moving to Sub-THz), Trustworthiness, Cognitive networks & Network compute fabric.

I encouraged students to solve following 6G Equation during their professional career to realize future usecases.

3C+3D = 6G

3C: Convergence of "Connectivity, Computing and Control (AI)"

3D: Densification (of Radio), Disaggregation (of Network) and Distribution (of compute and control (AI))

Do you agree or do you think we need a much more complex equation?

In another recent post he mentioned that their full length paper has just been published, exploring various approaches of Distributed AI/ML for different data models/workload characteristics to architect distributed intelligent network compute fabric as we move towards 6G. It's available here.

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