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6G technology expected to launch around 2030

(People's Daily Online)    15:42, November 11, 2019

While most people haven't even got their hands on a 5G smartphone yet, countries around the world are already preparing to compete in the field of 6G.

This echoes what Wu Hequan, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), has said – that human beings will endlessly pursue industry and technologies.

Recently, a launching ceremony for 6G technology was jointly held by relevant departments in China, where a work team and an expert R&D team were established.

However, Wang Xi, Chinese Vice Minister of Science and Technology, noted that 6G research is still at an early stage, and no clear direction has been set technologically. There’s no unified definition of key indexes and application scenarios, he added.

At present, 5G has been applied to commercial use, and the next generation of telecommunication technology is expected to emerge around 2030.

Yi Zhiling, a chief scientist of the China Mobile Research Institute, said that the updating of telecommunication technologies is not decided by only technology. “We don’t know when 6G will be applied, but the time needed would be shorter than before,” Yi added.

According to the world’s first white paper on the next-generation telecommunication technology, Key Drivers and Research Challenges for 6G Ubiquitous Wireless Intelligence, apart from the obvious improvement in transmission capabilities, 6G will realize seamless connection among ground, satellite and airborne networks.

When 6G integrates the digital and physical world, many of today’s fantasies will become a reality.

Most of the 6G performance indexes will outnumber those of 5G by 10 to 100 times, and its maximum transmission speed could hit 1Tbps, meaning a high-definition movie can be downloaded within a second.

“More things will become endogenously smart,” Yi said. She explained that the one application of 5G is to connect physical matters with non-intelligent nodes, but in the future, even parts of ourselves will be virtualized, which will open up a whole new world.

Industrial research has planned many potential application scenarios of 6G, one being extended reality (XR), which is combined with virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR).

It is expected to create virtual objects in physical reality, objects which are changeable at will. Therefore, it enables people at different geographic locations to feel like they were actually in the same space, with a seamless connection between devices and senses.

Now, the US, China, Japan, South Korea and Finland have all started research on 6G, and scientists are trying to find a clear path of development for the technology.

Wang Xiaofei, a professor from the School of Computer Science and Technology of China’s Tianjin University, believes that countries need to team up for this research as core technologies require a huge investment. Besides, 6G research must be elevated to the level of national strategies, he added.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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