Japanese government earmarks $482 million for 6G R&D

The Japanese government will earmark 50 billion yen ($482 million) with the aim of promoting research and development on 6G advanced wireless communications services, Japanese news agency Jiji Press reported.

The Japanese government expects to boost public-private cooperation in 6G research and development to secure a leading position over other countries in the field of telecommunications, according to the report.

Japan plans to establish a 30-billion yen fund to be used over the coming years for supporting research and development in the 6G field. The government expects to commission such work to private companies and universities through the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, which has ties with the country’s communications ministry.

The Japanese government will also spend 20 billion yen to build a facility to be used by companies and others parties for testing their developed technologies.

Japan also expects to develop the core technologies for the 6G system by 2025, with the aim of commercially launching the technology in 2030.

Last year, the government of South Korea said it aims to launch a pilot project for not-yet-standardized 6G mobile services in 2026. The Korean government expects 6G services could be commercially available in Korea between 2028 and 2030.

The Korean government’s strategy for 6G consists of preemptive development of next-generation technologies, securing standard and high value-added patents, and laying R&D and industry foundations. The government of Korea reportedly expects to invest a total of KRW 200 billion (currently $182 million) between 2021 and 2026 period to secure basic 6G technology.

The government selected five major areas for the pilot project: digital healthcare immersive content, self-driving cars, smart cities and smart factories.

Also, the Chinese government officially started researching 6G technology in November of last year. According to reports by Chinese state media, government ministries and research institutes had initial meetings with the aim of establishing a national 6G technology research and development group. The Ministry of Science and Technology said that it will set up two working groups to carry out the 6G research activities.

Finland is also among the first countries in the world to kick off research on future 6G technologies.

Last month, Nokia announced that it is leading the Hexa-X project, the European Commission’s 6G flagship initiative for research that will drive the overall vision for not-yet-standardized 6G.

The project goals include creating unique 6G use cases and scenarios, developing fundamental 6G technologies and defining a new architecture for an intelligent fabric that integrates key 6G technology enablers.

The Hexa-X project has been awarded funding from the European Commission under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.

Other members of the project include Ericsson, which will act as the technical manager of the project, Atos, Intel, Orange, Siemens, TIM and Telefonica.

The Finnish vendor noted that the Nokia Bell Labs is already researching the fundamental technologies that will comprise 6G. Nokia expects 6G systems to launch commercially by 2030, following the typical 10-year cycle between mobile generations.

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