SoftBank - Ambitious 6G Vision

SoftBank - Ambitious 6G Vision: Unveiling the Future of Mobile Connectivity :globe_with_meridians::satellite::rocket:

SoftBank’s R&D team spent 4 years exploring 6G’s potential. They identified avenues for next-gen mobile broadband and 12 critical industry challenges for ‘Beyond 5G.’ :chart_with_upwards_trend::microscope::star2:

6G, as envisioned by SoftBank, goes beyond merely offering high-speed connectivity and low latency. It’s about paving the way for a future where massive device connectivity, high reliability, and remarkable energy efficiency are paramount. :iphone::electric_plug::herb:

The journey began in 2017, with SoftBank diving into exploring architectural possibilities for 6G. Key technologies like High Altitude Platform Stations (HAPS) and Terahertz (THz) communications took center stage. At the core of their mission is creating an AI-driven digital society where the Internet knits together virtual and physical spaces seamlessly. :computer::robot::cityscape:

This visionary goal comes with challenges, spanning architecture, technology, and society. SoftBank has committed a staggering 2.2 trillion yen (approximately US$20.13 billion) investment in 5G and 6G networks, underlining their unwavering dedication to spearhead the next Industrial Revolution in telecommunications. :moneybag::bulb::signal_strength:

The challenges include:

  1. SLA vs. “best-effort”: Shifting from best-effort-based services to end-to-end communication with Service Level Agreements (SLA). :straight_ruler::white_check_mark:

  2. API-driven network customization: Embracing openness and customization in mobile networks through RESTful APIs. :calling::wrench:

  3. AI networks: Leveraging GPUs to provide cost-effective, high-quality networks and AI services. :computer::robot::chart_with_upwards_trend:

  4. 100% coverage: Eliminating dead spots with Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) solutions using HAPS, LEO, and GEO satellites. :artificial_satellite::earth_africa::satellite:

  5. Area expansion by HAPS: Stratospheric telecommunications platforms poised for commercialization. :sun_behind_large_cloud::satellite::helicopter:

  6. Beyond millimeter-wave: Exploring terahertz and optical communication for networks ten times faster than 5G. :microscope::globe_with_meridians::satellite:

  7. Sensing and positioning: Expanding base stations’ role to offer communication, sensing, and tracking services. :satellite:

  8. Charging/Power supply: Addressing contactless charging challenges. :electric_plug::battery:

  9. Maximum Frequency Utilization and Efficiency: Utilizing IP technologies for efficient frequency sharing. :satellite::globe_with_meridians::signal_strength:

  10. Network Security: Preparing for the quantum computing era with post-quantum cryptography. :closed_lock_with_key::lock::milky_way:

  11. Resilience, Redundancy, Recovery: Ensuring the robustness of 5G and beyond networks. :shield::arrows_counterclockwise::globe_with_meridians:

  12. Carbon-Free and Net-Zero: Monitoring CO2 emissions and pursuing environmentally friendly base station operations. :herb::earth_africa::electric_plug: