6G: Hype versus reality

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There is a proliferation of reports on the potential technologies and use cases that will be part of the 6G roll-out, but little distinction between what’s real and what’s hype. We identify what 6G is most likely to emerge by 2030, and what telcos and vendors should prioritise now.


Format: PDF filePages: 41 pagesCharts: 12Author: Charlotte Patrick and Dean BubleyPublication Date: July 2022

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
    • What is 6G?
    • Key considerations for telcos and vendors around 6G
    • What should telcos and vendors do now?
    • 6G capabilities: Short-term focus areas
    • Other influencing factors
  • What is 6G and why does it matter?
    • Who’s driving the 6G discussion?
    • What are they saying?
    • The reality of moving from 5G Advanced to 6G
    • Likely roll out of 6G capabilities
  • Regulation and geopolitics
    • The expected impact of regulation and geopolitics
    • Summary of 6G consortiums and other interested parties
  • 6G products and services
  • Requirements for 6G
    • AI/ML in 6G
    • 6G security
    • 6G privacy
    • 6G sustainability
  • Drivers and barriers to 6G deployment
    • Short-term drivers
    • Short-term barriers
    • Long-term drivers
    • Long-term barriers
  • Conclusion: Realistic expectations for 6G
    • The reality: What we know for certain about 6G / IMT2030
    • Possibilities: Focus areas for 6G development
    • The hype: Highly unlikely or impossible by 2030

Table of Figures

  • Figure 1: Roadmap for 6G
  • Figure 2: Design goals and technologies of 6G
  • Figure 3: Ultra-high data rate / ultra-low latency
  • Figure 4: New frequencies and interconnections
  • Figure 5: Ultra-massive MIMO and ultra-flexible physical and control layers
  • Figure 6: High resolution location
  • Figure 7: Improved sensing capabilities
  • Figure 8: General network concepts
  • Figure 9: Potential 6G products and services
  • Figure 10: Impact of 6G on telco systems
  • Figure 11: AI/ML capabilities in 6G
  • Figure 12: Drivers and barriers for 6G

Keywords: 5G, 6G, AR/VR, FWA, metaverse, MNO, open RAN, OSS, private networks, RIS, sustainability, Wi-Fi