Nokia's and Docomo's Joint Keynote at EuCNC & 6G Summit 2023 on '6G getting into next gear'

At the EuCNC & 6G Summit 2023 Peter Vetter, President of Bell Labs Core Research at Nokia US and Takehiro Nakamura, Senior Vice-president at NTT DOCOMO in Japan gave a joint keynote on the topic '6G getting into next gear'. The abstract of the talk says:

6G is no longer a mere long-term aspiration. It is a framework of technologies that will become reality by the end of the decade. We are transitioning from the idea-generation phase to systematization and proof-of-concept realization. In this talk, we will present progress on many of the key technologies Nokia and its partners are envisioning for future 6G systems. These technologies include network-as-a-sensor, which will introduce new spatial and contextual awareness capabilities, the AI-native air interface, which will give radios the ability to learn, and new spectrum technologies, which will deliver the capacity and flexibility necessary to meet future demands. We will also discuss how an intent-based automated network management will bring dynamic X-as-a-service to life. In the same talk, Peter will invite Mr. Takehiro Nakamura from NTT DOCOMO to share his view on potential 6G use cases.

Explaining the title, Peter said that the main point of the talk will that we're getting out of that exploration phase of research and we're seeing tangible first proof points of things that can be done for 6G and we need to start thinking of the systematization and getting ready also for the pre-standardization efforts.

Peter reminded of the point he made during the first of these 6G summits that there is a new generation every decade and every generation is defined by three defining attributes: 

  1. There must be a defining new application
  2. There must be a defining new radio technology aiming for higher and higher frequency bands with wider and wider bands
  3. There must be a defining new platform technology that enables the new applications as well as the new networks

As you can see in the picture shared by Peter above, for 5G that defining application has been Industrial Automation the defining new radio technology has been 5G millimeter wave. In the meantime most of the deployment has happened with massive MIMO in the mid band. This made the industry self-reflect and the lessons learned need to be taken into account going forward towards 6G. Finally, the defining platform has been distributed compute in distributed Cloud to enable low latency application as well as enabling cloudified Network functions. 

In the last four years, based on the results from Hexa-X and other consortia, the conclusion that has been reached is that while the Digital-Physical Fusion will be the key application, Metaverse has grown in importance. The industry has become a bit more cautious on the on the excitement about sub-THz and a need for new mid-band like deployments is foreseen for 6G. The current consensus is that is the 7 to 15 GHz or the upper mid band may come handy here. 

Finally, in terms of defining compute platform, AI-native architectures and air-interface will play a key role in unifying the network, compute and data infrastructure.

The keynote is embedded below and it's really worth a watch.

6G Flagship has a summary of the conference here.

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