KEY POINTS

  • More countries are joining the 6G technology bandwagon
  • Japan and Finland are the latest partners in the research and development of 6G
  • Industry experts predict 6G would be available to the consumers by 2030

Telecom companies from Japan and Finland recently teamed up for the research and development of the sixth-generation telecommunications technology or 6G network.

The Beyond 5G Promotion Consortium of the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and the Finnish 6G flagship program coordinated by the University of Oulu recently signed an agreement for collaboration for 6G technologies. Both parties agreed to work hand in hand in the research and development of the next-generation telecommunications technology.

This joint effort materialized following the 4.5 billion USD commitment from the US and Japan for the 6G technology. The partnership was announced in April 2021, but the agreement was signed just this month. This collaboration, which also includes third-world countries, aims to promote secure connectivity.

6G technology 6G technology is expected to be even faster than 5G. Photo: Mohamed Hassan/Pixabay

Beyond 5G Promotion Consortium eyes to commercialize the 6G technology within 2030. The project involves big names in Japan's telecom industry. This includes Nippon Telegraph & Telephone, NTT Docomo, KDDI, SoftBank Corp and Rakuten Mobile. The said group is reportedly in talks with American telecom companies and suppliers. Nikkei Asia earlier reported that Nokia, Finland's telecom giant, will also join the collaboration.

Professor Matti Latva-aho, director of the 6G Flagship program said, "Japan is a major global player in the development of wireless mobile technologies and it is in Finland’s interest to expand the cooperation to themes where mutual competitive advantage can be achieved for 6G development." The professor noted that "the importance of the collaboration is underlined by Japan’s decision earlier this spring to invest $2 billion in the development of 6G technologies."

Global tech market advisory ABI Research earlier predicted that the initial commercial deployments of 6G technology would take place between 2028 and 2029. In its forecast, the research firm mentioned that it expects the first standards for the sixth generation telecommunications technology to be ready by 2026.

Chinese tech giant Huawei expects 6G technologies to be available in the market by 2030. The company’s rotating chairman, Eric Xu, previously shared his insights about 6G during the company's global analyst conference. The executive said, "We think 6G will be on the market by around 2030, but we don’t really know what 6G is yet." He added, "Our industry expects to launch something that will contribute to businesses and consumers by around 2030, just like we have done for 4G and 5G."

Japan and Finland's partnership in the research and development of 6G technology is also a race against China's effort in introducing 6G technology in the market.