Sharing its vision for the 6G era, Nokia fosters the idea that 6G will meet the expectation of the rising demand and strain on the network that requires a new, highly agile, and cognitive architecture. Adhering to the spirit of “six” for 6G, Nokia Bell Labs has identified potential innovations.
“We actually started with the research on 6G two years ago. You want to be 10 years ahead of the game before the commercial deployment,” says Peter Vetter, president, Bell Labs core research. Nokia Bell Labs expects 6G to launch commercially by 2030, with the standardization phase 1 likely starting from 2025, leading to the first 6G specification in 3GPP Release 21 by 2028.
6G will be characterized by a bouquet of unique technologies that will shape the future of communications including artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML); spectrum bands; network sensing; extreme connectivity; cognitive, automated & specialized architectures; and security and trust.
“6G will enable holographic communication. It will be as if I’m teleported to your environment, like working on the same design, the same object as if we are in the same room,” added Vetter. This is in line with Pekka Lundmark, president and CEO, Nokia’s emphasis on the two significant trends that are expected to drive future developments in connectivity: human augmentation and digital-physical fusion.
One striking aspect of 6G will be the blending of the physical and human world, thanks to the widespread proliferation of sensors and AI/ML combined with digital twin models and real-time synchronous updates.
“Human augmentation is about highly immersive experiences and enhanced human-computer interfaces allowing humans to become a part of the internet, not just users of it,” stated Lundmark. “We’re increasingly moving away from the two-dimensional screen to devices driven by augmented reality and virtual reality.” He also pointed out that digital-physical fusion is an emerging technology that also means connecting physical assets with digital versions of themselves.
As a whole, Nokia’s 6G vision entails experiencing the coming together of machines, ambient data, intelligent knowledge systems, and robust computation capabilities that would redefine how people live, work, and take care of the planet.