6G is the new frontier for networks, these are the 6 most haunting missed opportunities for service providers.
The thought that change as the single truth can be a daunting thought for most of the telco industry. It tests a business model's agility, and adaptability and can be ridiculously costly financially and logistically. While we are still in the midst of testing the limits of 5G, only to find there are none, we are already talking about how 6G will change the world. A lot of lessons have been learned in the 5G era, particularly in terms of capabilities, security, and device compatibility. So, what are the creepiest things about 6G? Here's a hint: a missed opportunity.
The 5G era has also enabled a new wave of emerging markets, industries, and tech that can only be further enhanced by upgraded network capabilities. New industries like the digital economy (fintech), the creation of digital assets (cryptocurrency, NFTs, etc.), and the platforms that support them (blockchain, metaverse) are really only possible through the features of the 5G rollouts. While the following list may not be entirely new in terms of the most challenging factors of a network rollout, there has been a slight paradigm shift in what is prioritized in customer experiences.
While a lot of people with mobile phones today experience the benefits of connectivity, there are still over three billion people worldwide without internet access. The failure of constructing network grids in more remote areas of the world comes down to the price of deploying base stations and optical fiber cables in geographic settings that may not necessarily host the infrastructure. To achieve 100% reliable, low-latency, stable coverage globally, deploying the space-earth integration network is core in the 6G era. To deploy a space-earth integration network, base stations need to be set on the platform of the upper stratosphere and the LEO satellite, which can feed network signals to some remote areas. In general, this solution explores the possibilities of various emerging applications
Given the crucial role that network & data security plays in the evolution of the digital economy. In the 5G era, the 5G value includes a low latency, high reliability, and wide bandwidth, particularly network security. Entering into the 6G era, Post-quantum Cryptography (PQC) as well as Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), and other technologies to be applied in the network and guarantee total security
Promoting low-carbon transformation is a key trend of the ICT industry confronted with the drastic increase in network throughput and rising resource consumption. Whereas for operators and service providers, deploying low-carbon and energy-saving network infrastructure is an expected practice in lowering OPEX, and in line with the ESG duties and responsibilities of companies today. Intelligent network capabilities, enhanced through AI can help in achieving energy-saving targets
End-to-end AI features mean that with the diverse applications of 5G/6G in all industries, innovative technology is the foundation supporting digital manufacturing, operation, and administration. All of these require a higher standard of network reliability and stability that can be devoted to constructing a flexible, redundant, and self-healing network. The more complex the network, the more challenging the process of maintaining and enhancing the network KPIs through traditional modes of operation. To overcome such challenges, operators and vendors aim to introduce AI into the network to facilitate network automation and intelligent transformation. Through the development of network services, higher requirements of network latency, reliability, and user experience are needed. However, this task requires massive data and computing resources to unlock the true value of the AI engine at full capacity
- Terahertz Communication
Terahertz frequency band refers to the frequency band from 100GHz to 10THz - an expected norm in the 6G era given the wide bandwidth, which has never been used before. This means that it can be exploited without any limitations. However, it is estimated that the terahertz in the 6G era will face the same issues as the millimeter wave does currently - weak capability of covering expensive network deployments, the premature ecosystem of terminals, et al. that all need to be solved within the industry
- Use of Radio Spectrum: Perception & Location
As a valuable resource, the radio spectrum is a significant carrier of innovation in the digital society. In the mobile network era, countries create their systems of authorizing and distributing spectrum - a system that promoted the development of earlier networks, which over time, lead to the waste of spectrum. Therefore, sharing technology of the dynamic spectrum will take up a lot of focus in the 6G era. By introducing AI, blockchain, and other such relevant technologies, the wireless industry is seeking to identify ways of controlling and distributing the spectrum more intelligently and flexibly. Meanwhile, Massive MIMO is evolving to elevate the efficiency of using spectrum.
As it stands, the radio spectrum is used by mobile operators in telecoms. However, it is expected that in the 6G era, the radio spectrum can not only used in telecommunication, but also in the function of sensor and location, allowing for services like communication, environment perception, and location tracing, and hence, driving more emerging applications. Additionally, Radio signals can identify the posture, gestures as well as the surrounding environment to enrich & enhance UX.
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