Commercial 5G networks are still in their nascent stages, but NTT DOCOMO is already looking ahead to the next evolution of mobile technology. The company has released a new white paper that details the concepts and use cases for commercial 6G networks, which it expects to introduce ahead of 2030.
According to the white paper, NTT DOCOMO started researching 6G technology back in 2018, noting that it takes roughly 10 years to develop each mobile generation (for reference, the company started researching 5G in 2010). DOCOMO’s 6G journey began with successful 150 GHz radio wave propagation experiments, providing a foundation for faster 6G networks that can support a higher volume of communications.
The white paper goes on to list some of the physical components that will be needed to deliver 6G networks. It also lays out a series of goals for the next ten years of 5G and 6G development. For example, DOCOMO is planning to explore new terahertz frequency bands, and improve coverage in the sky, at sea, and in space. The company is similarly hoping to reduce the cost and energy requirements of mobile technology, while simultaneously enabling people to communicate at faster speeds and with lower latency.
Guests were able to view a conceptual 6G display at the recent DOCOMO Open House that ran from January 23-24. DOCOMO itself indicated that it will encourage industry leaders to cooperate with the government, academics, and other stakeholders to create a more supportive environment for future 5G and 6G innovation.
Of course, NTT DOCOMO has long been at the forefront of the mobile network conversation. The company is currently building its 5G infrastructure with new radio units from NEC, and previously worked with NEC to stream 8K video to a high-speed train and trial facial recognition over a 5G connection.