Japan sets its sights on 6G

News

The Japanese government is drawing up a 6G strategy setting up a dedicated panel on the technology, reports say.

The panel will focus on technological development, potential use cases and policy, according to the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry.

Japan has lagged behind other countries on 5G and roll-out is expected in some cities from this spring. 6G is expected to launch around 2030 and some say it could be ten times faster than 5G.

Smooth introduction

“The smooth introduction of standards for next-generation wireless communications networks is indispensable to boosting Japan’s international competitiveness,” communications minister Sanae Takaichi is quoted as saying.

The panel will include representatives from the private sector and academia and will consult with various industries to understand 6G opportunities and challenges. The first panel could meet as early as next Monday, according to local media.

Japan reportedly intends to dedicate 220 billion yen ($2.03 billion/€1.81 billion) to encourage private-sector research and development for 6G.

6G race gets underway

State media in China recently said that government ministries and research bodies had met to ‘kick off’ work on 6G.

Work is already underway in Finland on 6G, centred around the University of Oulu, and the 6G Wireless Summit 2020 is set to take place in March in Lapland.

The 6G Flagship research programme published what it claimed is the world’s first 6G white paper in September, saying this “opens the floor for defining the 2030 wireless era”.

The US wants in on the act too. To coincide with MWC2019 in February last year, the US President Donald Trump made global headlines tweeting that he wanted 6G technology in the US as soon as possible, urging US firms to step up their efforts or get left behind.