ITU launches new focus group to explore life beyond 5G

2030 5G
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A new ITU focus group will examine how emerging technologies can enhance network capabilities to meet the demands of 5G systems and future innovations.

The ITU Focus Group on ‘Technologies for Network 2030’ (FG NET-2030) will look at new media, services and architectures to identify communication needs and use cases for the year 2030 and beyond, says Dr Richard Li, Huawei, chairman of the focus group.

“Network 2030 will be a new horizon for the future digital society,” he says.

‘5G is not the end’

The focus group will create a vision for networks in the year 2030 by drawing on past developments and analyzing emerging technologies, Li says.

“In the last 20 years, web-based applications, multimedia and apps on our smartphones are dominating our network industry,” he says. “In the next ten years, 5G will become a reality. The market will be driven by enhanced mobile broadband, massive machine-type communications, and optimal, reliable and low-latency communications.”

The focus group will look past these developments to consider future advancements, Li says.

“5G is not the end of the story,” he says. “Technology and the industry do not stop here. We have to move forward; we have to look ahead. We need to know what will happen after the year 2030.”

New technologies

The focus group will address questions about new drivers, requirements and gaps to propose use cases for applications including augmented and virtual reality and holograms.

“Holographic communications will have a big part to play in industry, agriculture, education, entertainment and many other fields, so it will specify some requirements,” Li says.

The focus group will also respond to increasing user demands for time-sensitive applications, says Mehmet Toy, Verizon, vice-chairman of the focus group.

“As networks and infrastructures are being updated by service providers, there is a need to identify the capabilities and technologies for public networks to be able to support the rising time-sensitive applications and meet user expectations,” he says.

The big picture

The focus group’s studies are part of decade-long ITU standardization project led by ITU-T Study Group 13.

The group will collaborate with other organizations including the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Data Communications (SIGCOMM), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) ComSoc.

The efforts will seek to support both existing and future applications, Li says.

“Network 2030 will bring up some new concepts, new architectures, maybe new protocols, and new solutions,” Li says. “Regardless, we will make sure Network 2030 will be fully backward compatible, supporting both the existing and the future new applications.”

The original version of this article first appeared in ITU News

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