In September, NIST and IEEE conducted a hybrid workshop on 6G Core Networks, drawing speakers and participants from the U.S. and multiple countries. The workshop’s purpose was to examine the transition from 5G to 6G.
Nokia’s Volker Ziegler was the keynote speaker. The workshop surveyed the 6G landscape, with speakers noting that it is still in the research and development stage. However, the European Commission’s Pearse O’Donohue pointed out the need for a common view of what 6G will be, based on existing technology building blocks, and ultimately a global standard; these are sought to guide R&D, prevent fragmented approaches in networking, and improve the 5G-to-6G transition, relative to the recent 4G-to-5G transition.
Mike Nawrocki, of the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS), underscored this need and described a general approach to achieving it. Countries and regional groups should identify societal goals for 6G; these would be the basis for modifying and achieving broader consensus. These goals would enable the development of a common view of 6G, use cases, requirements, international collaboration in R&D, and a global standard. Nawrocki stated that the Next G Alliance is currently enabling such collaboration between Europe, Japan, Korea, and North America.
Speakers, like InterDigital’s Doug Castor, also noted the likely requirements for 6G: security designed upfront; spectrum efficiency; optimizing computing and communications together; end-to-end quality of service; and quality of experience for users. Additionally, Ericsson’s Mischa Dohler stated there should be placeholders in 6G architecture for Artificial Intelligence, Application Programming Interfaces, and Augmented Reality.