Worldwide, research and development work on the future 6G mobile communications standard is picking up pace. Companies and states are investing massively in this technology.
“6G will be much more than just an infrastructure for connectivity; it will greatly increase the efficiency of autonomous driving cars, smart cities, and connected industries. That’s why 6G is a strategically important field of technology,” says Dr. Andreas Müller, who bundles and manages 6G activities at Bosch. The company currently has some 40 associates working on 6G technology. Over the next two years, that number is likely to double,” Müller says. Bosch is currently investing several millions of euros in research and development for 6G.
Bosch and Nokia expand their research alliance to include 6G
At the Mobile World Congress 2023 in Barcelona, Bosch and Nokia have now announced that they will expand the alliance they entered into in 2017 to develop industrial IoT solutions in the area of 5G so that it also addresses the new 6G technology. The two companies are conducting joint research on the next generation of networks and investigating how to use future 6G networks for both communications and sensors.
Networks with a sixth sense through integration of sensor technology
Among other things, the next generation of mobile communications will integrate new functionalities similar to radar sensors. With 6G, it will be possible to detect the position of objects in the network’s coverage area – without these objects having to be equipped with a radio module. 6G will enable extremely high data rates of up to one terabit per second, with very low latency in the order of some 100 microseconds – which is four times faster than a lightning strike. With the help of digital twins, this will for instance make it possible to monitor and simulate real-world manufacturing processes in a virtual world with no temporal and spatial restrictions. Experts predict that the first 6G standard will be completed by 2028.
In recent months, Germany and Europe have launched a large number of 6G projects with the goal of strengthening their technological sovereignty. The German government, through the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), is providing some 700 million euros over the next three years to fund 6G activities. In addition, the EU budget has earmarked a further almost 900 million euros until 2027. Japan and the United States have also launched corresponding investment programs totaling around 4.5 billion dollars.