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Nov 28, 2019 07:34 AM EST

The Future is at Hand: Finland to Host the First-Ever 6G Wireless Summit in March 2020

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The next generation of wireless connectivity, otherwise known as 6G, is expected to arrive around 2030, and the bright minds in northern Finland are storming with new ideas and tech innovations that will blow the roof off.

The letter G in 2G, 3G and 4G represents the mobile network's "Generation." Mobile operators are starting to offer 4G services in most countries today.

Because China now uses 5G, it is seemingly more advanced than the rest of the world. According to Chinese state news agency Xinhua, 5G commercial services are now available in 50 Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen.

The United States however, with its ongoing silent technology war with China, also has 5G zones in its 6 major cities namely: Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York.

Donald Trump said the United States must take the lead in the 6G advancements. But he might not have known the path is already beginning to be paved. On Tuesday at the Mobile World Congress 2019 (MWC19), Oulu academics in northern Finland said they were holding the first 6G conference, and they were open to requests for collaboration and partnerships.

Ari Pouttu, the 6G flagship collaborative projects leader of the University of Oulu, said we must "expect to see a future where the phone you're carrying around now will either disappear or its role will be dismissed, and there will be new ways a human can consume data."

He added that the user might be using the kitchen table or the car window to browse the internet, as an example.

Olli Liinamaa, director of the University of Oulu 5G test network, said that the 5G still has several releases to go but it's time to start building the next generation wish list. He described a process of about 5 years of kicking around academic papers, which is likely to turn into attempts to set standards around 2025 or 2026 for a 2030 launch target.

Oulu City has reinvented itself as a start-up hub with a strong focus on wireless industry research at the university there. Oulu has helped to develop 5G and is trying to expand its role. Pouttu described certain target technologies that his crowd hadn't yet figured out how to implement. But that's kind of the point - the big dream.

Much of 6G, Pouttu revealed, will be designed for smart machines and not for human needs. Latencies of less than a millisecond are "imperceptible to humans, but for machines it is a long time," he added. 6G will be completely AI-motivated according to Pouttu.

Mesh networking is coming down the road to 5G. 6G might look more like a mesh network than a cellular network, allowing users to purchase their own mini base stations to define coverage. But that is still an underlying question.

Liinamaa said this early in the 6G process is still taking inputs from anyone who might want to design or use a network. They can be academics, business owners, scientists, wireless operators, and equipment manufacturers who are interested to join the 6G revolution.

As of late, everybody is looking forward to the 6G wireless summit which will be held at the end of March 2020 in Levi, Finland.

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