5G Technology World interviewed Keysight’s Roger Nichols on what’s coming soon for 5G and what 6G might become.
While the initial 5G — enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) — is in deployment, the rest is moving forward. By that, we mean machines talking to each other with low latency and high reliability. With that will come the birth of private networks. 6G is a long way off, but it could bring things like touch and taste to the mobile experience. That’s what 5GTW learned though a discussion with Keysight’s Roger Nichols.
Bringing machines into the 5G picture means connectivity, which 3GPP Release 16 addresses. That will bring applications in robotics, logistics, industrial control, and others that we’ve been expecting for several years. To get there, we’ll need private networks, for which Nichols sees three versions.
- Fully private, where business or government organizations will lease or won a network from the radio to the network core. This will bring the highest performance and security, at the highest cost.
- Sliced networks where a client uses a virtual network with a service-level agreement. The physical plan is, however shared with others.
- A hybrid, where the radio-access network is shared but the network core is isolated from other users.
Although 5G works, it needs improvement that will go on for years to come. One such improvement can come from better power efficiency, particularly in the power amplifiers. Better power efficiency would lower costs to network operators and improve battery life to users. Part of the problem comes from beamforming because there’s more than one antenna to drive.
Nichols is also responsible for Keysight’s 6G involvement. “The 6G vision is about moving the wireless comms networks to more than just people communicating with people. What we think of as mobile broadband is dominated by video in terms of data flow. 6G could see the tactile internet come to wireless networks where senses go beyond sight and sound to touch and even smell.”
The video, based on a recorded audio conversation, spells out Nichols’ vision for over the next several years and where 6G research might lead.
During the interview, Nichols mentioned several papers covering 6G research.
The Next Hyper-Connected Experience for All (Samsung)
Key drivers and research challenges for 6G ubiquitous wireless intelligence (University of Oulu)
5G Evolution and 6G (Docomo)
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