With 5G networks having just finished their second year in existence, wireless industry leaders are already exploring the path to future wireless networks beyond 5G. 5G Americas announced the publication of a white paper Mobile Communications Beyond 2020 – The Evolution of 5G Towards Next G, which details this global work from several academic and industry organizations and presents potential use cases and technologies integral to the evolution of 5G towards the “Next G.”

Chris Pearson, president of 5G Americas said, “5G is in the second inning of a nine-inning baseball game with a huge roadmap of innovation ahead. Yet, the mobile wireless industry is going through a transformational change right now. Despite COVID, industries and societies are rapidly digitizing, so it is imperative that conversations around the next generation of mobile cellular wireless technologies begin to take place.”

While 5G is still early in its lifecycle, it continues to be enhanced through continuous updates via Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) releases. These enhancements to networks, architecture, technologies, and standards will continue through 3GPP Release 17 and beyond. However, it is expected over the next few years, that requirements for the next generation of mobile wireless will be outlined in the upcoming International Mobile Telecommunications 2030 (IMT-2030) update from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

Early thought leadership around next generation wireless use cases may include scenarios involving tactile or haptic communications, high resolution terahertz spectrum use for imaging and sensing, cyber-physical systems in manufacturing, and enhanced public safety and national security applications.

This 5G Americas white paper covers the three main topics:
•    A review of activities looking beyond 5G in both North America and globally
•    How communications will change beyond the 2020s, including several use cases
•    How North America can establish and maintain technological leadership in future communications standards

Brian Daly, assistant vice president, Standards & Industry Alliances AT&T and leader of the working group in development of this white paper said, “Many projects identified as 'Next G' and '6G' identified projects are proceeding globally with some contribution from the Americas. There is a need for commercial entities, government agencies and academic bodies in the United States to be at forefront of these next generation developments.” 

Mark Lipford, director of Industry Forums and Relations, T-Mobile USA commented, “5G will deliver many years of value and innovative services to customers, but it’s important to begin to consider vision and the goals that the ITU will lay down for IMT-2030 for the following decade.”