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Finnish telco equipment maker Nokia has announced its partnership with NTT and DOCOMO, Japanese telecom companies to define and develop key 6G technologies. The mega collaboration will focus on two proofs-of-concept for emerging technologies – an AI native air interface and sub-THz radio access.
Nokia says the aim is to demonstrate a performance gain powered by an AI-based 6G air interface. This demonstration will be in direct contrast to a conventional air interface. The collaboration also hopes to display that high-data-rate beamformed access can be possible in a high-frequency band at 140 GHz.
It is not the first time Nokia has joined hands with DOCOMO. They have a long history of collaboration to usher in wireless technologies dating back to the 90s. Their collaboration started in 1990 for 3G, to 4G, and now 5G, and 5G O-RAN. The latest on 6G is yet another collective effort to guide the next generation of mobile communication future.
Nokia says it seeks to further expand the technologies and systems of 6G and explore what it can do. “It will fuse the human, physical and digital worlds to liberate our innate human potential,” Nokia says.
For this, it has identified six key technologies. These are:
Among these, Nokia will primary focus will be to demonstrate the benefits of AI-based learned waveform in the transmitter with a “deep learning receiver in the mid-band”. Similarly, there will be tests to realize high data rate indoor communications in the sub-THz band.
The six key technologies will provide substantial deployment flexibility for operators. Similarly, they will also increase network throughput much higher than 5G in the “respective spectrum”. Besides, these technologies will also be energy sufficient.
The three firms will also work to achieve high-rate access and find new use cases in the 6G era. Likewise, they will work on multi-modal mixed-reality telepresence and remote collaboration, massive twinning, and collaborating robots.
Nokia says there is a plan to set up environments for experiments in DOCOMO and NTT premises in Japan. On the other hand, there will be similar setups in Nokia premises in Stuttgart, Germany. The companies could start demonstrations and tests this year.
Regarding the collaboration, Naoki Tani EVP and CTO at DOCOMO expressed his delight. He said, “DOCOMO has been collaborating with Nokia since 2014 to accelerate the experimental trials for 5G wireless technology and promote the creation of new use cases. We are excited to work with Nokia to realize the 6G concept. DOCOMO and NTT will now start the experimental trials of two 6G proofs-of-concept for high-rate transmission in the sub-THz band and AI native air interface, and contribute to 6G commercialization with vertical industry partners.”
Meanwhile, Peter Vetter, President of Bell Labs Core Research at Nokia also talked about the collective vision. He shared, “We envision that 6G will unify the human experience across the digital, physical and human worlds. We build on a long tradition of collaborations between the world-leading labs at DOCOMO and Nokia Bell Labs. Nokia is very honored to engage in this collaboration with DOCOMO and NTT, as global leading operators that are always among the first to bring new generations to the market. We look forward to working together and validating key concepts and key technologies to realize the 6G vision.”
6G is the next-generation mobile communication technology. This will succeed the c current 5G which is still far from reaching global penetration. But several states predict 6G will come around 2030, while many have run custom lab tests demonstrating successful data transmission.
Meanwhile, Nokia has itself claimed that the 6G could arrive by 2030.
Are you buying into the allure of 6G hype or rather stay content with the 4G on your smartphone? Don’t forget to leave a comment below.