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Read the newest 6G Waves magazine by the 6G Flagship

The following article was published in the latest 6G Waves magazine. Through this journal you can stay up-to-date on the latest information about 6G, and find out more about the debate on the direction 6G should go in compared to 5G:

6G is on the horizon, with the industry becoming seriously involved. There’s a lot of discussion and debate, particularly around whether 6G should be an evolutionary step from 5G or a radical departure towards something new. This debate is largely driven by the fact that the monetisation of 5G is still an ongoing process, leading to many questions about the next steps in wireless technology development.

At the time of printing this magazine, the World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC’23) is taking place in Dubai. A key topic of discussion there is the utilisation of the 7-15GHz band, known as FR3, as the main spectrum for 6G. This is expected to rejuvenate research in dynamic spectrum-sharing, now enhanced with AI and machine learning to make it more effective. However, reaching a consensus is challenging, especially with the diverse views and complex situations involving primary users, such as those in Europe’s defence sectors.

In the current geopolitical climate, the resilience of 6G technology is becoming increasingly important. Many countries are focusing on dual-use capabilities. The International Telecommunication Union-Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) has proposed ubiquitous connectivity as a new usage scenario for 6G. This raises important questions: What implications does this target have? Will satellite technology finally
be integrated into the overall 6G architecture?

Research into combined communications and sensing, bolstered by AI, is at the forefront of forging new directions for the future. While the journey of 6G research is laden with challenges, we are beginning to see promising land on the horizon. As we steer through these waters, it’s our hope that the global 6G fleet will also perceive this same destination and steadily set their course towards it. The 6G Flagship is committed to leading the way in this endeavour.

Text by Matti Latva-Aho

Director of 6G Flagship
University of Oulu, Finland