6G Terminal Vision Whitepaper by GSMA and HONOR

Honor (Chinese: 荣耀) is a Chinese consumer electronics brand majority-owned by Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology Co. Ltd, a state-owned enterprise controlled by the municipal government of Shenzhen. It was formerly a subsidiary of Huawei, who sold the brand in November 2020. Honor develops smartphones, tablet computers, wearables and mobile device software.

In a press release for MWC, HONOR said:

Driven by the rapid advancements in AI, 6G will bring exciting possibilities but also complex challenges.  HONOR and GSMA have released a "6G Terminal Vision" whitepaper at MWC.  

Developed with contributing partners China Unicom, China Mobile, China Telecom, Du, Telstra and Inmarsat, this forward-looking document outlines the vision for a human-centric intelligent world shaped by the transformative capabilities of 6G and AI. The whitepaper details nine potential scenarios, five key research directions, and four typical capabilities for 6G terminals. Learn more about the whitepaper here.

With the unveiling of this white paper, HONOR and GSMA have taken the first step in exploring the future of 6G. HONOR invites industry partners to unite their strengths, engage in joint research, and rally toward an industrial consensus on 6G terminals.

Quoting the summary and outlook from the paper

6G Era Calls for Innovative 6G Terminal

Terminal represents the real needs of users and carries the latest innovative technologies. The dual-wheel drive of user needs and technological innovation is widely recognized by the industry as the driving method of terminal development, and the terminals under different eras from 2G to 5G are committed to meeting the key needs of users and carrying new innovative technologies to bring a revolutionary and ultimate user experience. Especially in the 4G era, the release of the typical "4G terminal" iPhone is praised as the iPhone moment, and the "4G terminal" brings revolutionary technology innovation and greatly enhances user experience with the killer application. The popularization and development of "4G terminals" also promoted the evolution of the network. In 6G era, terminals and the network will still promote each other and develop together, and the evolution of 6G network will promote the development and upgrade of terminals. Terminals and their killer application will put forward new demands for 6G network and promote the development of 6G network. As the standards defined in 3GPP and GSMA, there is a need for standardized collaboration between terminal and network. The 6 scenarios described by ITU-R and various new technologies (AI integrated communication, industrial digitization, communication and sensing integration, space-air-ground full coverage, etc.) will become the powerful driving force of "6G terminal", giving rise to terminals with unique characteristics of the 6G era, and the iPhone moment for "6G terminal" in 6G era also becomes the pursuing goal for terminal manufactures.

Preliminary Exploration of the 4 Typical Capabilities of 6G Terminal

Based on the accelerated development of 6G, AI and industrial digitization, the volume of information will further explode, and terminals are faced with processing massive amounts of information, so the efficiency of information flow has to be improved. Terminals will continue to support 6G scenarios and carry new technologies in the 6G era, and 6G terminals will continue to participate in multiple links of information flow and play a more important role in each link, promoting further improvement of information flow efficiency. According to the 9 potential typical scenarios and 5 key research directions of 6G terminals, 6G terminals will have its own typical characteristics different from 5G terminals, and 6G terminals will have 4 typical capabilities as following:

  • Terminal all-around communication capability: higher rate, larger bandwidth, lower latency, higher-speed mobility, higher reliability, massive connectivity, space-air-ground integrated communication, communication and AI integration, communication and perception integration, etc., to support the complex and diverse connectivity and transmission capabilities of 6G communication.
  • Terminal native AI capability: terminal-side large model running, terminal-side strong computing power, terminal-side energy-efficient data processing, terminal-side data protection, terminal-side model training and updating, terminal-side collaboration of multiple computing units, terminal-side personalized model training and updating, collaboration of terminal side and server side, the capability to support the terminal side itself to collaborate with other devices to conduct computing power, algorithms, data, and other elements.
  • Terminal real-virtual fusion perception and multi-dimensional sensory information presentation capability: 3D vision (spatial video), 3D hearing(spatial audio), touch, smell, and taste information and other multi-sensory high-resolution information perception and presentation capabilities, as well as the capability of simultaneously conducting all-round perception of the physical world and the virtual digital world.
  • Terminal expansion collaboration capability: Flexible configuration of terminal resources, support for on-demand expansion and upgrading of terminals, and expandable terminal architecture capabilities that support collaboration with network side, cloud side, edge side, and various forms of terminals.

Looking to the future, after 6G terminals are equipped with the above 4 typical capabilities, the terminals will connect the physical world and the digital world, creating an intelligent world for each user. 

To learn more about the paper, you can also watch this session, "Smart Mobility Summit - Weaving the Mobility Future: Better Together" from MWC 2024 available here. The session by Samuel Deng, President of Research & Development Mgmt Dept at HONOR Device Co., Ltd starts at 47:00. 

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