“The mass market of 5G will realistically be reached in 2022-2024, and despite its currently patchy rollout, there are already those in Europe, Asia and North America working on 6G technology…”. In the article "The internet of (every)thing of 6G", published on 4 February 2021 in Il Sole 24 Ore and signed by the President of the General States of Innovation Fulvio Ananasso, we find an interesting and in-depth analysis of current developments in technology 5G and the future horizons that we already glimpse with 6G. “The 6G “vision” in 2030 is a data-driven, artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive computing-enabled society with near-instantaneous wireless connectivity.”.
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Unlike other mobile generations, 5G not only replaces the previous generation (4G), but uses fixed-mobile convergence to “orchestrate” the entire network (end to end), through network-independent services based on small radio cells, "softwarization"– software-defined networking (SDN) / network functions virtualization (NFV) – and low latency (edge computing). The "network slicing" allows the management of 5G requirements on the same infrastructure end to end of different applications, realizing various logical / virtual networks independent as if they had each a dedicated physical network. This allows you to handle applications with different requirements, such as (i) mobile broadband at high speed (10Gbps), (ii)ultra-reliable communications low latency (goal 1 msec) for production control, remote surgery, smartgrids, transport, … i.e (iii) massive communications machine to machine (M2M), with many devices with low cost, consumption and volume of data — (narrow band) internet of things (nB-IoT).
The auction on 5G spectral resources has gone further 6.5 billion euros into the State coffers, with the assignment of rights of use on 3 frequency bands: 694÷790 MHz, 3.6÷3.8GHzAnd 26.5÷27.5GHz. The high frequencies imply the densification of radio cells of small dimensions – order of km in the case of 700 MHz, microcells of hundreds of meters at 3.7 GHz and pico / femtocells of tens of meters at 27 GHz -, with high rates of reuse of frequencies, speed And density of users — up to 1 million/km2. The number of cells will therefore grow considerably, with all the problems connected to the (almost unfounded) fears of the population and site owners concerned by the electromagnetic emissions due to the proliferation of antennas.
Given the advantages offered by 5G, you will have to find ways to efficiently manage one huge amount of connected devices and the data traffic generated by them. Think of the 25 GB of data exchanged every hour by a single connected self-driving car. When fully operational, robust advanced management protocols will therefore be required (AI-driven) of traffic flows, otherwise the 5G network will no longer be able to bear the load. Therefore, despite the currently patchy launch of 5G – the mass market will realistically be reached in 2022÷2024, with China dominating technologies, distribution and number of connections – there are already those working on 6G technology in Asia, USA and Europe.
There vision of 6G to 2030 is one data-driven society, a world intrinsically enabled forartificial intelligence (AI), with a connectivity wireless almost instantaneous, very high fasttransmission ty data and user density. Smartphones, suits and other wearables based on cloud will be AI-enabled, with “personal projection interfaces” able to monitor and exchange vital signs, enabling new immersive/predictive services based on cognitive computing, sensors wearable / body-embedded, etc. Both humans and machines will be users of 6G, characterized by the provision of advanced services extended reality (XR) immersive, moving holograms high fidelity and digital replicas (digital twin).
Cisco provides in this regard extremely accurate geo-locations, of the order of 10cm indoors And one metre outdoors. You will be able to serve a hundred communicating objects per m3, given that in the future, humans will no longer be the only ones to communicate through their own device, but also objects connected to the network — with us and with each other. it is theinternet of (every) thing, which connects things, people, data and processes.
China put a satellite into orbit last November to test transmissions at frequencies of TeraHertz (thousands of GHz), functional to the very high speeds envisaged by 6G. South Korea, pioneer of commercial 5G (2018), expects the rollout of 6G networks within the present decade – following the custom of one new generation every ten years about. There will be a massive use of deep learning / cognitive computing for the development of strategic verticals – digital healthcare, self-driving cars, smart cities and factories.
In July 2020 Samsung has set speed targets of 1,000Gbps (1 Terabit/sec) with latency less than 0.1 msec (against 1 msec of 5G), up to 10 million users per km2 and three categories of requirements to be met: high performance, architectures sustainable and reliability / safety.
In the US, the major telecom players in theATIS extension (Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions) launched last October the “Next G Alliance” (“Building the foundation for North American leadership in 6G and beyond"), for the standardization, technical specifications, components and commissioning of the equipment.
The European Union also aims to be a player global, and launched the project on January 1st Hexa-X (Horizon 2020) to define the Road map and future developments of 6G technology with major operators and infrastructure providers – Ericsson, Nokia, Orange, Telefonica, etc. “The Hexa-X vision is to connect human, physical, and digital worlds with a fabric of 6G key enablers”. 6G networks will be equipped with advanced "predictive" intelligence systems, in a scenario of traffic explosion, number of connected objects and sustainability of energy consumption (data centers, towers, …).