DAISHI CHIBA, Nikkei staff writer
TOKYO — Toyota Motor, NEC and other Japanese companies will join a government-backed group to propose technological requirements for sixth-generation wireless communications, Nikkei has learned, aiming to gain an early edge in development.
Expected to debut in the 2030s, 6G is envisioned as more than 10 times faster than the fifth-generation wireless in use now, enabling services like fully automated driving and remote surgery that require rapid, high-volume data transmission with minimal lag.
The technical proposal to be released soon by the Beyond 5G Promotion Consortium could be the first of its kind. The group includes Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, as well as academic institutions and companies like Panasonic that are expected to use 6G technology.
Seizing the initiative at this stage signals a strong competitive position for Japan, as setting specific benchmarks is difficult without research and development to provide a basis for the figures.
The draft will include specific requirements for individual fields and applications. The consortium will call for common targets to be met by companies worldwide to guarantee that 6G communications are secure and reliable.
With self-driving cars, disruptions in wireless communications could lead to accidents. The proposal looks to set goals for autonomous-driving technology of limiting lag to about 1 millisecond — less than one-tenth the latency of 5G — and error rates to no more than 1 per million.
In medicine, data speeds in the tens of gigabits per second — more than 10 times what 5G provides — will be sought as a prerequisite for remote surgery. Entertainment applications such as virtual “metaverses” are seen requiring networks that can handle tens to hundreds of gigabits of data per second at peak times.
The Japanese proposal will be submitted to a June meeting of a working group within the International Telecommunication Union, a United Nations agency. The working group plans to establish technical requirements for 6G networks by June 2023, and will use these as a base to hash out specifications for particular applications.