Network and interconnectivity: 5G and 6G

Communication technology provides the infrastructure needed to enable people and things (i.e., devices, places, etc.) to connect and interact with one another across physical and virtual spaces. It is the foundation of a smarter age in which AI and robots will become a common part of our daily lives. 

Communication technology will continue to evolve radpily to connect people with machines and things through higher and faster exchange of information.

Today, 5G technology is being applied to the core infrastructure of various industries and is used to support everything from high-quality communication services to smart factories, vehicle-to-vehicle communication, and a raft of other new services. 

In addition, ultra-wideband (UWB) technology, which can safely and accurately measure distances, is emerging as a next-generation connectivity technology that connects various devices and provides location-based services.

Communication technology, which is the foundation of the future society, is evolving to prepare for the future ahead of any other technologies. In response to the rapidly-changing generational change of mobile communication technology every 10 years, major countries around the globe have already launched 6G research and introduced it into fierce leadership competition.

Samsung Research will continue to focus on advanced communication research to strengthen 5G competitiveness, prepare core technologies for the 6G era 10 years later, and lead global standards based on them.

Samsung’s vision is to combine the expertise in communication technology with Samsung Research’s software and AI capabilities to strengthen 5G businesses and create new business opportunities in the 6G era by shaping the future communication technology.

In order to strengthen 5G business competitiveness, Samsung is currently researching advanced technologies that overcome technical limitations by combining software capabilities and AI technologies. It is also developing location-based services through UWB technology development and standardisation.

In addition, Samsung will develop core technologies in preparation for the 6G era that will come in 10 years down the road, and will lead the global standard based on them.

Samsung’s vision for 6G is to bring the next hyper-connected experience to every corner of life. To accelerate research for 6G, Samsung Research, the advanced R&D hub within Samsung Electronics’ SET Business, founded its Advanced Communications Research Centre in May of last year.

While 5G commercialisation is still in its initial stage, it’s never too early to start preparing for 6G because it typically takes around 10 years from the start of research to commercialisation of a new generation of communications technology. Samsung has already launched the research and development of 6G technologies by building upon the experience and ability we have accumulated from working on multiple generations of communications technology, including 5G. 

Going forward, Samsung is committed to leading the standardisation of 6G in collaboration with various stakeholders across industry, academia and government fields.

Samsung expects that the completion of the 6G standard and its earliest commercialisation date could be as early as 2028, while mass commercialisation may occur around 2030. Both humans and machines will be the main users of 6G, and 6G will be characterised by provision of advanced services such as truly immersive extended reality (XR), high-fidelity mobile hologram and digital replica.

Whereas 5G requirements mainly focused on performance aspects, Samsung defines three categories of requirements that have to be met to realise 6G services – performance, architectural and trustworthiness requirements. 

Examples of 6G performance requirements are a peak data rate of 1,000 Gbps (gigabits per second) and air latency less than 100 microseconds (μs), 50 times the peak data rate and one-tenth the latency of 5G. A comparison of key performance requirements between 6G and 5G is shown in the diagram below.

The architectural requirements of 6G include resolving the issues arising from the limited computation capability of mobile devices as well as implementing AI right from the initial phase of technology development and enabling the flexible integration of new network entities. The trustworthiness requirement addresses the security and privacy issues arising from the widespread use of user data and AI technologies.

Samsung introduces candidate technologies that could be essential to satisfy the requirements for 6G. These include the use of the terahertz (THz) frequency band, novel antenna technologies to enhance the coverage of high frequency band signals, advanced duplex technologies, the evolution of network topology, spectrum sharing to increase the efficiency of frequency utilisation and the use of AI in wireless communications.

As a dedicated network designed for enterprises, private networks allow businesses to operate new, enhanced business applications and services on their premises. With 5G, enterprises can take advantage of the improved productivity, security and efficiency private networks can deliver across various industries, ranging from offices and classrooms to factories and hospitals.