6G targets summarised in white paper
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:
Professor Matti Latva-aho, the director of 6G Flagship at the University of Oulu and one of the white paper's editors

The 6G Flagship research programme at the University of Oulu, Finland, has published what it claims to be the world’s the first 6G White Paper – “Key Drivers and Research Challenges for 6G Ubiquitous Wireless Intelligence”, which is based on the output from a workshop at the first 6G Wireless Summit in Finnish Lapland in March 2019.

The 6G white paper, which can be downloaded here, predicts that smartphones are likely to be replaced by lightweight glasses capable of delivering “unprecedented resolution, frame rates, and dynamic range” and states that 6G research should seek to enable data transfer rates of up to 1 Tbps per user through the use of THz frequencies.

The paper’s authors have complied some of the generic technical targets for 6G that have been presented by academia and industry and they are as follows:

  • 100Gbps-1Tbps peak data rates;
  • 0.1ms radio latency; 20-year battery lifetime;
  • A connected device density of 100 devices per cubic metre;
  • A 10,000-fold increase in traffic;
  • Extreme ultra reliability (a maximum of one outage per million);
  • 10 times more energy efficient; and
  • 10cm (indoor) 1m (outdoor) positioning accuracy

While the paper notes that “5G was primarily developed to address the anticipated capacity growth demand from consumers, as well as the productivity demands from industry, and to enable the increasing importance of Internet of Things (IoT),” it states that “6G will require a substantially more holistic approach to identify future communication needs, embracing a much wider community to shape the requirements of 6G.”

It highlights such societal drivers as UN sustainability goals and says that “High energy efficiency to reduce the overall network energy consumption is a critical requirement for 6G. The choice, use, reuse and recycling of materials throughout product lifecycles will enable the total cost of ownership to be reduced, facilitate the extension of network connectivity to remote areas, and provide network access in a sustainable and more resource-efficient way.”

The paper is divided into seven themes:

  • Societal and business drivers for 6G;
  • 6G use cases and new device forms;
  • 6G spectrum and KPI targets;
  • Radio hardware progress and challenges;
  • Physical layer and wireless system;
  • 6G networking; and
  • New service enablers.

The university will hold the second 6G Wireless Summit on 17-20 March 2020 in Levi, Finland. The first 6G Wireless Summit was organised in Levi, Finland, in March 2019 with almost 300 participants from 29 countries, including major infrastructure manufacturers, operators, regulators as well as academia.

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