ITU-R Report on Future Technology Trends of Terrestrial IMT Systems Towards 2030 and Beyond

ITU-R produces a lot of documents that serve many different purpose. For example, the ITU-R Recommendations constitute a set of international technical standards developed by the Radiocommunication Sector of the ITU. The ITU-R Recommendations are approved by ITU Member States. Their implementation is not mandatory; however, as they are developed by experts from administrations, operators, the industry and other organizations dealing with radiocommunication matters from all over the world, they enjoy a high reputation and are implemented worldwide.

ITU-R Reports on the other hand contain technical, operational or procedural statements prepared by radiocommunication study groups. ITU-R Handbooks provide a statement of the current knowledge, the present position of studies, or of good operating or technical practice, in certain aspects of radiocommunications.

ITU's IMT-2020 page lists all the recommendations, reports, etc. that took place for what is now known as 5G. Some of the regional activities started as early as 2011. Report M.2320-0, Future technology trends of terrestrial IMT systems, approved in Nov. 2014, laid out the Technology Trends and Enablers for IMT-2020 (5G). In a similar vein Report M.2516-0 (11/2022) discusses "Future technology trends of terrestrial International Mobile Telecommunications systems towards 2030 and beyond"

The following list from Table of Contents will provide you with an idea what the report discusses:

  1. Overview of emerging services and applications
    • 4.1 New services and application trends
    • 4.2 Drivers for future technology trends towards 2030 and beyond
  2. Emerging technology trends and enablers
    • 5.1 Technologies for AI-native communications
    • 5.2 Technologies for integrated sensing and communication
    • 5.3 Technologies to support convergence of communication and computing architecture
    • 5.4 Technologies for device-to-device communications
    • 5.5 Technologies to efficiently utilize spectrum
    • 5.6 Technologies to enhance energy efficiency and low power consumption
    • 5.7 Technologies to natively support real-time services and communications
    • 5.8 Technologies to enhance trustworthiness
  3. Technologies to enhance the radio interface
    • 6.1 Advanced modulation, coding and multiple access schemes
    • 6.2 Advanced antenna technologies
    • 6.3 In-band full duplex communications
    • 6.4 Multiple physical dimension transmission
    • 6.5 THz communications
    • 6.6 Technologies to support ultra-high accuracy positioning
  4. Technology enablers to enhance the radio network
    • 7.1 RAN slicing
    • 7.2 Technologies to support resilient and soft networks for guaranteed QoS
    • 7.3 New RAN architecture
    • 7.4 Technologies to support digital twin network
    • 7.5 Technologies for interconnection with non-terrestrial networks
    • 7.6 Support for ultra-dense radio network deployments
    • 7.7 Technologies to enhance RAN infrastructure sharing

The following is the conclusion from this document:

This Report describes technology trends of terrestrial IMT systems that are applicable to radio interfaces, mobile terminals, and radio access networks by considering the timeframe up to 2030 and beyond. These trends include emerging technologies and the technologies to enhance the radio interface as well as the radio network.

Further technical information and feasibility studies for higher frequency bands can be found in other ITU-R documents, and ITU-R is working on a report on the technical feasibility of IMT in bands above 100 GHz.

The PDF is available here.

Seong-Jun Oh, Professor at Korea University presented a talk on this at Mobile Korea 2022. The video of his talk is embedded below and the slides are available here.

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