While the world may still be some distance from 6G networks, the fact is that industry has started thinking how to integrate the cloud into these deployments
India has just shifted to 5G networks and the world is just about getting comfortable with what the networks can offer as use cases. So, any talk of 6G deployment at this juncture seems both facetious and definitely premature. However, industry believes that this shift would require considerable rethink from operators and vendors when it comes to the switch over.
While 6G may still be years away, the industry has just started thinking about what changes it may bring to the technical standards required for the changeover, even if in theory it may happen only towards the end of this decade, if not later. One crucial shift could be the convergence of 6G with the cloud, says Jeff Wang, global 5G Lead at Accenture.
An article published by SDXCentral quotes Wang to suggest that the two major challenges in the move towards 6G could be how the industry works through expanded spectrum positions and how they integrate the cloud and hyper-scaler ecosystem deeper into the deployments. He holds the view that 5G didn’t quite get there, so 6G must.
What is 6G all about?
The 6G mobility would succeed 5G and will use higher frequencies to provide higher capacity with lower latency levels. A stated goal of 6G internet is to support one microsecond latency communications, which is 1,000 times faster than existing 5G ones. The technology is expected to facilitate improvements in imaging, presence technology and location awareness.
Industry experts believe that working with artificial intelligence, the 6G computational infrastructure would be able to identify the best place for computing to take place – such as decisions on data storage, processing and sharing. Though vendors have started investing in the next-gen wireless standard, industry-specifications for 6G products are nowhere in sight.
Higher capacity and latency levels could extend the performance of 6G applications besides also expanding their capabilities to support innovative apps in wireless connectivity, cognition, sensing and imaging. With 6G, the access points could also become capable of serving multiple customers simultaneously via orthogonal frequency-division multiple access.
Getting the standards are crucial
In order to make the products work, industry needs to consider the technical standards with a clear view of a possible commercial deployment by 2030. Wang says that 6G standards aren’t there but a new spectrum is spoken about. In other words, the focus now is on fixing the spectrum diversity in 5G rather than actually bothering about 6G.
These higher spectrum bands would force a total reboot of the deployment models in order to incorporate more challenging propagation characteristics, says Wang, claiming that Accenture is already on the job with clients on deployment tactics as the density would not be economically as cheaper.
Wang feels there is a need to tap into the work already done by the cloud and hyper-scaler community which uses automation and planning to deal with increasingly large data sets. However, he feels enough hasn’t been done on this front as these companies are so big and deal with so many customers and dollars that getting them on the same page is tough.
However, there may not be too many alternatives but to collaborate on this one, feels Wang while concluding that they may not have to work together but would definitely need to collaborate on at least figuring out where the scaffolding should go up.