What is 6G?

6G will not only build on existing technologies, it will radically transform what a network can do. We believe it will liberate human potential, inclusively and sustainably.



Why do we need 6G?

6G will fuse the human, physical and digital worlds. This will deliver a network that takes us from connectivity to togetherness, information to knowledge and effectiveness to purpose. 6G will help us redefine how we live, work and take care of our planet.

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6G technologies

Nokia Bell Labs has identified six key technologies that will be vital components of future 6G networks

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    AI native air interface

    AI/ML will provide a new foundation for air interface design and optimization, enabling self-optimizing transmitters and receivers, cognitive spectrum use and context awareness.

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    Network as a sensor

    The 6G network is expected to become a source of situational information, gathering signals bouncing off objects to determine their type, shape, relative location, velocity and perhaps even material properties.

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    6G speed and extreme connectivity

    URLLC service began with 5G but it will be refined and improved in 6G to meet more extreme connectivity requirements – including sub-millisecond latency – and provide much higher levels of network reliability.

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    6G spectrum

    The use of spectrum will expand to higher bands beyond what 5G requires. In addition, repurposing existing mobile communication spectrum will be essential.

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    Cognitive, automated & specialized architectures

    Different industry verticals will require new more flexible and increasingly specialized architectures. As the core becomes more distributed and the RAN more centralized, the 6G network will reduce costs by converging functions.

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    Security and trust

    A variety of new signal processing techniques and physical-layer security mechanisms are emerging to address security in a mixed-reality world, which will become an integral part of the 6G network.

6G white papers

Communications for the 6G era

In this paper, Preben Mogensen and Harish Viswanathan share a vision for a 6G future as well as a practical approach to achieving that future. They explain how we can connect the physical, human and digital worlds by creating a real-time twin of the world we live in.

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On a journey to 6G

We expect 6G to launch commercially by 2030. Standardization phase 1 will likely start from 2025 leading to the first 6G specification in 3GPP Release 21 by 2028. Meanwhile 5G will be enhanced by 5G-Advanced, which will be a key focus for 3GPP in Release 18 onward. 5G-Advanced will power commercial public & private networks starting in 2025, providing new 5G features and boosting 5G capabilities before 6G arrives at the end of the decade.

See all our 6G research stories