PUBLISHER: Mind Commerce | PRODUCT CODE: 1229684
PUBLISHER: Mind Commerce | PRODUCT CODE: 1229684
In its fifth year of analyzing the emerging six-generation wireless market, Mind Commerce is the leading market research company focused upon emerging 6G technologies, capabilities, solutions, applications and services. This report edition expands upon previous analysis focused primarily upon emerging 6G technologies. This edition evaluates 6G development including technology investment, R&D, prototyping and testing.
The report also assesses 6G market commercialization including opportunities for infrastructure development and equipment deployment as well as a realization of applications and services. The report also analyzes 6G market use cases by industry vertical. The report provides 6G market sizing for 2023 through 2030, with the lower end of the range focused primarily on technology development, and the latter end of the range focused on 6G market commercialization.
Expanding upon the trend started with technologies supporting 5G capabilities, 6G will be integrated with a set of previously disparate technologies. Several key technologies will converge with 6G including AI, big data analytics, and next generation computing. 6G networks will extend the performance of existing 5G capabilities along with expanding the scope to support increasingly new and innovative applications across the realms of communications, sensing, wireless cognition, and imaging.
Whereas 5G leverages mmWave in the microwave frequency range, 6G will take advantage of even smaller wavelengths at the Terahertz (THz) band in the 100 GHz to 3 THz range. While the impact to the Radio Access Network (RAN) for 5G is substantial, it will be even bigger with 6G networks, which is driven largely by a substantial increase in frequency, which will facilitate the need for antennas virtually everywhere.
Just as there have been, and will continue to be, many challenges with 5G, so will there be many new challenges with 6G. One of those challenges will be developing commercial transceivers for THz frequencies. This is largely an area in which electronics component providers must innovate. For example, semiconductor providers will need to deal with extremely small wavelengths and correspondingly small physical size of RF transistors and how they will interwork with element spacing of THz antenna arrays.
6G wireless will also exploit some completely new RAN approaches to increasing bandwidth and reducing latency, such as sub-THz radio frequencies and visible light spectrum, as well as leverage enhancements to existing radio methods, such as advanced MIMO technologies to increase spectral efficiency. This will include some innovative methods such as angular momentum multiplexing, combining multi-RAT and 3D multi-link connectivity, along with ultra-dense radio access point deployment such as hyper-extension of the small cell concept in a HetNet environment.
There will be many new technologies and solutions approaches to enable terahertz-level radio. For example, ultra-fast radio chips will be required to achieve frequencies up to 20THz for next generation 6G communications. The metastructures are etched and patterned at sub-wavelength distances onto a semiconductor made of gallium nitride and indium gallium nitride. These allow electrical fields inside devices to be controlled.
This approach to semiconductor design has already enabled up to 100 gigabits per second at terahertz frequencies, which represents a 10X improvement over 5G communications. Effectively utilizing these high frequencies will also require innovation in smart antenna implementation. For example, there is a need for reconfigurable antennas that can tune properties such as frequency and radiation beams in real-time.
While 6G wireless promises dramatically higher data speeds than 5G advanced via terahertz frequencies, sub-THz communication is a very important interim solution area. For example, the frequency range from 7.125 GHz to 24.25 GHz is attracting attention as possible additional spectrum for 6G, and is already being unofficially referred to as FR3. The wavelength is attractive as compared to FR2 frequencies; it is less susceptible to attenuation, simplifying coverage, and includes enough unallocated frequencies to support wider channels than FR1 (100 MHz).
As discussed by Mind Commerce in previous versions of this 6G market report, smart surfaces will be key to the long-term success of 6G wireless. Specifically, reconfigurable intelligent surface (RIS) technology will provide better control of the electromagnetic waves in the radio propagation channel, which shall dramatically improve performance thanks to leveraging metamaterial properties not found in natural substances.
RIS is crucial for the 6G market, especially at higher frequency ranges, as propagation losses may reach up to 2,000 times higher than that of 5G commercial frequencies. However, current RIS engineering approaches yield up to a 40% improvement as compared to non-RIS based systems. Use of RIS will be critical for 6G in urban environments, especially for indoor wireless for enterprise and industrial solutions.
Starting in 2018, Mind Commerce began to formulate a vision for wireless and networking beyond 5G. Working independently, we published our first 6G market research report titled Sixth Generation Cellular: Looking Beyond 5G to the 6G Technology Market in June 2019. This ground-breaking research represented an initial investigation into the upcoming 6G technology market. This research built upon our extensive analysis in LTE, 5G, and computing (core cloud, edge computing, HPC, and quantum), and other related areas such as artificial intelligence and AI support of other technologies.
6G Flagship, an organization funded in part by the Academy of Finland with an overall budget of 251 million Euros to study 6G from 2018 to 2026, published the white paper titled "Key Drivers and Research Challenges for 6G Ubiquitous Wireless Intelligence" in September 2019. Mind Commerce subsequently became involved with efforts at the University of Oulu to develop a set of new white papers focused on various additional aspects of 6G.
This culminated in the publishing of "White Paper on 6G Networking" in June 2020. Written by an international expert group, and led by the Finnish 6G Flagship program, the paper sheds light on advanced features relevant to networking that are anticipated to shape the evolution beyond 5G, ultimately leading to 6G. Gerry Christensen, founder of the publishing firm, was one of the authors of the paper and his name is found among the contributors listed on the 6G Flagship website.
The involvement in 6G Flagship's efforts has both solidified its initial research findings as well as provided an opportunity to network with wireless and networking experts from industry and academia. This makes Mind Commerce the foremost market research authority in the emerging area of 6G technology, solutions, applications and services.