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ITU approves a new 6G vision

The 44th meeting of the ITU-R WP 5D, which met in Geneva June 12, 2023, to June 22, 2023, finalized the 6G Vision Framework. 6G has been named as IMT-2030 by the global UN agency for Telecom. The new 6G vision is contained in the draft new Recommendation ITU-R M.IMT.FRAMEWORK FOR 2030 AND BEYOND which provides framework and overall objectives of the future development of IMT for 2030 and beyond. Mr. Bharat Bhatia President IAFI and Mr. Jitendra Singh, Vice President IAFI are attending the ITU Meeting in Geneva where this breakthrough agreement was reached. India administration delegation by Mr. T K Roy, DDG in the DoT, played a critical role in getting the ubiquitous connectivity being accepted as a key usage scenario.

This new framework recommendation will now become a foundation document for 6G work across the different research groups and in external standards development organizations like the 3GPP.

One of the key elements agreed among the different administrations was on the inclusion of elements of interworking across different access services. It was agreed that the user experience could be enhanced when such users are able to access services anytime and anywhere. Specifically, ITU is now intending to develop interfaces that would allow interworking of terrestrial 6G network with non-terrestrial technologies (such as satellites- like the ones being launched by One-web and Telesat, etc.). Similar interfaces will be developed for other access technologies, including Wi-Fi.

IAFI provided input contributions to the meeting on this aspect of interworking and helped drive consensus on this topic at the meeting. The newly approved 6G standard now includes 6 key usage scenarios, as compared to only 3 usage scenarios in 5G. The following diagram was adopted by the ITU as representing the new 6G standard:

Future 6G technology, under the newly developed IMT-2030 framework standard is expected to support enriched and immersive experience, enhanced ubiquitous coverage, and enable new forms of collaboration. Furthermore, IMT-2030 is envisaged to support expanded and new usage scenarios compared to those of IMT-2020, while providing enhanced and new capabilities. Under the newly approved ITU vision of IMT-2030, 6G to continue to build an inclusive information society and to support the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs). To this end, IMT-2030 is expected to be an important enabler for achieving the following goals, among others:

  • Inclusivity: Bridging digital divides, to the maximum extent feasible, by ensuring access to meaningful connectivity to everyone.
  • Ubiquitous connectivity: To connect unconnected, IMT-2030 is expected to include affordable connectivity and, at minimum, basic broadband services with extended coverage, including sparsely populated areas.
  • Sustainability: Sustainability refers to the principle of ensuring that today’s actions do not limit the range of economic, social, and environmental options to future generations. IMT-2030 is envisaged to be built on energy efficiency, low power consumption technologies, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and use of resources under the circular economy model, in order to address climate change and contribute towards the achievement of current and future sustainable development goals.
  • Innovation: Fostering innovation with technologies that facilitate connectivity, productivity and the efficient management of resources. These technological advances will improve user experience and positively transform economies and lives everywhere.
  • Enhanced security, privacy and resilience: The future IMT system is expected to be secure and privacy-preserving by design. It is expected to have the ability to continue operating during and quickly recover from a disruptive event, whether natural or man-made. Making security, privacy and resilience key considerations in the design, deployment and operation of IMT-2030 systems is fundamental to achieving broader societal and economic goals.
  • Standardization and interoperability: To achieve wide industry support for IMT 2030, future IMT systems are expected to be designed from the start to use transparently and member-inclusively standardized and interoperable interfaces, ensuring that different parts of the network, whether from the same or different vendors, work together as a fully functional system.
  • Interworking: IMT-2030 is expected to support service continuity and provide flexibility to users via close interworking with non-terrestrial network implementations, existing IMT systems and other non-IMT access systems. IMT-2030 is also expected to support smooth migration from existing IMT systems, where including support of connectivity to IMT-2020 and potentially IMT-Advanced devices will be advantageous for inclusivity.

CT Bureau

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