Nokia, Fujitsu Each Begin 6G Research With Docomo and NTT

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Nokia and Fujitsu are separately working with Docomo and NTT to define and develop key technologies toward the next generation of wireless, known as 6G. 

The Fujitsu joint trials will test radio frequencies above 100 GHz that would enable data speeds of more than 100 Gbps. Because radio waves at higher frequencies tend to be easily blocked by obstacles, Fujitsu, Docomo and NTT will conduct joint trials of distributed MIMO, where multiple sub-terahertz wave antennas are dispersed to simultaneously emit radio waves from multiple directions to a receiving terminal.

In order to realize high-speed and large-capacity communications at sub-terahertz waves with small size and low power consumption, Fujitsu plans to develop wireless devices using compound semiconductors such as gallium nitride (GaN) and indium phosphorus (InP).

The Nokia collaboration will focus on proofs-of-concept for an AI native air interface and sub-THz radio access. The research aims to demonstrate a performance gain using an AI-based 6G air interface compared to a conventional air interface, and to show that high-data rate beamformed access can be achieved at 140 GHz.

Nokia has envisioned six key areas that will be vital to 6G, including new spectrum technologies, AI native air interface, network as a sensor, extreme connectivity, cognitive, automated and specialized architectures, and security and trust. “We envision that 6G will unify the human experience across the digital, physical and human worlds,” Peter Vetter, President, Bell Labs Core Research, Nokia, said. “Nokia believes 6G will not just build on existing technologies and systems but expand and transform what a network can do. It will fuse the human, physical and digital worlds to liberate our innate human potential.”

Among the six key technology components, the initial focus of the partnership is to demonstrate the benefits of AI-based learned waveform in the transmitter with a deep learning receiver in the mid-band, as well as to test high data rate indoor communications in the sub-THz band.

Naoki Tani, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Docomo, said, “Providing high-rate access will be important in enabling enhanced and new use cases in the 6G era, such as multi-modal mixed-reality telepresence and remote collaboration, massive twinning and collaborating robots.” 

Nokia plans to set up experiments and demonstrations on the Docomo and NTT premises in Japan and in its facilities in Stuttgart, Germany, and to begin performing tests and measurements later this year.

By J. Sharpe Smith, Inside Towers Technology Editor

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