Japan's Vision and Strategy for Beyond 5G and 6G in 2030s

Like most 5G leaders, Japan is sparing no effort in Beyond 5G and 6G technologies. Last year Japan's Beyond 5G Promotion Consortium (B5GPC) and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) both published whitepapers (see related posts at the bottom of the post). 

Speakers from Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan (MIC) are similarly quite active in promoting their vision of the world in 2030. In fact, lets start by watching a video from MIC on "The world connected by 5G".

Many of the things highlighted in the video are far away and it would be realistic to assume that many of these visions can be achieved by 2030 commercially if there is a market.

At Mobile Korea 2022, MIC speaker presented The R&D strategy policy for “Beyond 5G” in Japan, available here. Earlier version of similar presentations can be seen here (Nov 21) and here (Oct 22). The presentations highlight the evolution in the thinking process and the approach. During the rest of this post, we will work with the latest version of presentation from Mobile Korea 22.

The presentation clarifies in the beginning that "Under the intensifying international competition, it is necessary for Japan to strengthen its competitiveness and ensure economic security by strategically promoting R&D, IP and international standardization in industry academia government cooperation.

Information and Communications Council held a series of deliberations on technology strategies including R&D, IP and international standardization to accomplish the issues , while sharing initiatives and knowledge of relevant associations and major players in Japan."

The Beyond 5G Usage Scenarios shown above have provided the 10 R&D challenges that can be seen above. The presentation provides further details on the R&D strategy, the Budget of B5G R&D, Support for B5G international joint R&D, IP and standardization strategy, International standardization strategy integrated with the R&D strategy, Social implementation strategy, Overseas deployment strategy, Beyond 5G Promotion Consortium and finally the intention to have Beyond 5G ready showcase @ Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai. 

A robust and vibrant society built on B5G will let Japan achieve their vision of Society 5.0 in the 2030s. The Japanese Cabinet Office has an explanation of Society 5.0 here. One definition proposed by then is, "A human-centered society that balances economic advancement with the resolution of social problems by a system that highly integrates cyberspace and physical space."

This is the vision of the Beyond 5G Network in 2030s. Notice the ambitious goal, "Secure 10% of essential patents and 30% share of the global market to lead the world market".

Finally, no discussion would be complete without discussing spectrum and bandwidth requirements. The presentation nicely summarises that an additional 16 GHz bandwidth will be available in 2025 as compared to 2021 and an additional 102 GHz in 2030s, as compared to 2021.

While this vision and ambition is great, a BBC article this month candidly called out that, "Japan was the future but it's stuck in the past". It explains:

For decades Japan has been struggling with a sluggish economy, held back by a deep resistance to change and a stubborn attachment to the past. Now, its population is both ageing and shrinking. Japan is stuck.

Maybe B5G/6G is what they need to change their mentality and society. Time will tell!

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