History tells us that every next generation telecoms standard is always delivered faster than its predecessor. 3G took 15 years to go from inception to deployment, it took 12 years for 4G, and eight years for 5G. With developments underway for 6G, and with much technology and knowledge already in place, we could see the first networks being rolled out in less than eight years.
Like every generation cellular technology, 6G brings improvements in seamless network connectivity to the end user. Including Smart Cities, Factories and robotic advances. The latest standard advances in 5G continue to improve and build on the use cases from previous generations. Each generation of technology is a building block to the next. 6G will be no exception but promises leaps in efficiency and extended capability.
VIAVI 6G Blog
VIAVI 6G Research Vectors
VIAVI 6G Forward Program
Like in 5G, the Importance of industry collaboration in accelerating R&D/testing approaches/deployment of 6G remain strong.
VIAVI has years of experience in supporting operators evolve and monetize their networks.
We were the first to invest in 4G, and quickly developed our product lines to support in the testing and validating of 5G networks and features. Testing the interactions between 4G and 5G, and comprehensive testing of mobility scenario support over NSA and SA, for instance, are crucial for the successful roll-out of new services. Working with other leaders in the field, we’re helping to develop a solid business case for 6G.
As a one6G strategic member, VIAVI is contributing to the one6G vision of a future where 6G technologies and solutions allow to unleash the potential of smart connectivity for a secure, resilient, and sustainable development of our economy and society.
O-RAN ALLIANCE next Generations Research Group (nGRG)
The nGRG will focus on research of open and intelligent RAN principles in 6G and future network standards.
VIAVI is a full-member of NEXTG Alliance steering group, active participant in several working groups, contributing to their initiative to advance North American wireless technology leadership over the next decade through private-sector-led efforts. With a strong emphasis on technology commercialization, the work will encompass the full lifecycle of research and development, manufacturing, standardization and market readiness.
5G/6G Innovation Centre
At the University of Surrey in the UK, VIAVI is a founding member of the 5G/6G Innovation Centre led by Regius Professor Rahim Tafazolli FREng. The Innovation Centre addresses advanced communication systems and the key challenges in the development of a 5G, 5G+ and 6G infrastructure for providing connectivity for future technologies.
Key research areas include: Antennas and signal processing; Artificial intelligence for wireless communications; Intelligent and high-performance networking and service delivery; Intelligent RAN technology and management; Mobile network security; New physical layer; RIS Reconfigurable intelligent Surfaces; Satellite communications; THz components and communications all under future Integrated communication and sensing.
Beyond 5G Promotion Consortium
Beyond 5G Promotion Consortium aims to achieve the early and smooth introduction of Beyond 5G and to strengthen the international competitiveness of Beyond 5G in order to realize the strong and vibrant society expected in the 2030s.
VIAVI is an affiliate member of 6G@UT, which is a new research initiative within the Wireless Networking and Communications Group (WNCG) at UT Austin. 6G@UT brings together leading researchers at the intersection of wireless, networks, sensing, and machine learning with the goals of making new discoveries that enable 6G, training and educating future thought leaders in the cellular industry, and working closely with industry to innovate at the intersection of theory and practice.
LOCUS and 6G BRAINS
VIAVI is an industry member of both 5GPPP projects. Funding from European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
LOCUS - Localization and analytics on-demand embedded in the 5G ecosystem, for ubiquitous vertical applications.
The LOCUS consortium gathers a diverse blend of high-profile partners from Telco and IT industries that can make its vision a reality. LOCUS will be an enabler of a myriad of applications for the 5G ecosystem and beyond, boosting vertical industries and creating new business opportunities also for telcos.
LOCUS will augment current and future infrastructures to: i) provide accurate and ubiquitous location information as a network-native service and ii) derive more complex features and behavioural patterns out of raw location and physical events, and expose them to applications via simple interfaces. Localization, together with analytics, and their combined provision “as a service”, will allow network operators to better manage their networks and to dramatically expand the range of offered applications and services.
The VIAVI innovation participation includes:
- Localization analytics exposed as virtualized services on top of hybrid edge/core virtualization platform integrated with 5G network infrastructures
- People (individual and group) mobility analytics as virtualized network functions
Find out more at: innoradar.eu
Bringing Reinforcement learning Into Radio Light Network for Massive Connections (6G BRAINS)
6G BRAINS addresses current challenges in networks, beyond 5G (B5G), 6G, Terahertz (THz), Optical Wireless Communications (OWC), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Multi-agent Deep Reinforcement Learning, Highly Dynamic Ultra-Dense Device-to-Device (D2D) Cell-free Networks, Grant Free-Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access (GF-NOMA), End-to-End (E2E) Slicing, Integrated Access Backhaul (IAB), Industrial Virtual Assistant (IVA), Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), Content Distribution Network (CDN), massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC) and Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communication (URLLC).
Innovating 6G for the future. Actively shaping 6G standards and have defined 6 research vectors to ensure risks to suppliers and service providers are minimized. Fully developing the potential of 5G creates an upgradable foundation that could revolutionize networks and usher in not just advanced mission critical URLL use cases but entirely new industries.
Find out more at: 6G BRAINS
Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things at Northwestern University
Researchers and students at the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things envision a future in which people and their environment are wirelessly connected by a continuum of AI-powered devices and networks, from driverless cars and search-and-rescue drone swarms to implantable medical devices and smart cities. The institute is home to world-leading expertise, facilities, and technologies dedicated to making wireless communications exponentially faster, more energy efficient, and more secure.
Our research priorities:
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning for wireless systems
- 5G and 6G wireless systems
- IoT business models for tomorrow’s industries
- Smart and connected implantable medical devices
- Smart cities and oceans
- Unmanned aerial vehicles for civil and national defense
6G Knowledge Hub
Motivations and Drivers
Network investment and deployment is expensive. Planning, deployment, operations, management, and performance of the mobile networks must be made more efficient for operators to see ROI on 6G. Approaches and technologies associated with 6G will help enable these efficiencies in a way we’ve not seen with previous generations.
Sustainable Development Goals including climate goals
- The UN has outlined 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which form part of a 2030 Agenda.
- Interestingly, 2030 is also the date that commercial networks are expected to go live.
- A number of service providers have also marked 2030 as a key date for 6G.
- 6G could have a range of positive environmental and socio-economic benefits, allowing telcos and enterprises to work towards SDGs.
- Tech: will draw on this report which identifies potential solutions that could be incorporated within 6G networks to reduce energy consumption and be more sustainable.
- Socio-economic: investing in new, better wireless connectivity (especially in rural areas and developing economies) will help address a number of the UN’s SDGs, improving access to education, narrowing the digital divide, improving remote healthcare, creating more sustainable, connected cities etc.
- In the future, there may be environmental/sustainability/net-zero regulations that telcos have to adhere to – or which are set by trade orgs and are a requirement of a telco’s membership. Developing 6G technology may therefore be critical in future-proofing a telco business and adhering to frameworks/regulations/legal requirements.
- Market and economic drivers
- 6G will enable new kinds of experiences, which can be rolled out to more end users with a guaranteed QoS for each end user.
- This include VR, AR, MR, 3D networking, UAVs, autonomous cars, optical wireless comms, AI.
6G Technology Enablers
Many of today’s test approaches (testing as early in the dev cycle, comprehensive testing of subsystems as well as overall performance testing) will continue to apply as the technology evolves.
Considerations on how testing will need to evolve with the use of:
- AI/ML, more centralized approaches such as the
- Digital twin that encapsulates real world and synthetic data for both predictive analytics and maintenance.
- RF tech at high frequency
- Capacity, latency and performance
- Openness, disaggregation
- Environmental footprint
- Productivity and speed to market
- Economics and cost
And as a backdrop to this more and more moving to the edge and the cloud which will require new test architectures and new tools. New use cases (yet to be defined, of course) will need to be emulated to ensure networks can support both these and those running on legacy standards. And if operators thought 5G networks were complex…