29 April, 2024

ETNO Position Paper on 6G

The European Union has set ambitious Digital Decade targets for 2030, among them the objective to cover all populated areas with wireless high-speed networks of at least 5G performance. Societies increasingly rely on high-speed mobile and broadband connections. We expect Europe’s mobile data consumption per user to continue growing in the coming years with an annual growth rate of 25% . Mobile connectivity has a key role to play in attaining digital inclusion for all European citizens and businesses and enabling the twin digital and green transition.

Today, 80% of the European population is covered by 5G . As European telecom operators continue the rollout, the deployment of 5G standalone (5G SA i.e. a network that uses a 5G core network without dependency on LTE Evolved Packet Core) will progressively become a priority. The focus of mobile operators will be to meet the society demands by unfolding the technology’s full potential, enabling increased network capacity, network slicing and use of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), among other things, and showing how operators can develop services and pave the way for innovations of the next decade already today.

This paper looks at the communications technology 6G and assesses its expected benefits on innovation and society. It provides an overview of the state-of-play of 6G research, identifies key values that should drive the development of 6G, associated use cases and suggests ways in which international/EU public policy can contribute to 6G research, design and network deployment. We would however, underscore, from the outset, that Member States should be careful not to push 6G, not to set arbitrary deadlines and not to create a race that is not aligned with technological and market realities.

We elaborate on our reflections in the paper. For questions and clarifications regarding this position paper, please contact Benedict William Gromann (gromann@etno.eu) and Xhoana Shehu (shehu@etno.eu), Policy Managers at ETNO.

© ETNO 2024
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