WIM2022 New York: The Evolution of Mobile Standards and the Prospects for 6G Networks

Communication, Technology Author: Fuller Wang, Yuanxi Ma Editor: Fuller Wang Jul 25, 2022 05:53 PM (GMT+8)

Join us in World Innovators Meet 2022 New York to learn more about the trends in 5G sectors in both China and US.


Wireless cellular technology is relatively young: the first-generation technology standard for the broadband cellular network (1G) was in the 1980s. Although 1G technology was revolutionary in allowing people to make phone calls wirelessly, its poor sound quality and coverage, lack of system compatibility, and lack of encryption led to its demise. In 1992, Finnish GSM operator Radiolinja first introduced a 2G network. The most significant advancement for the 2G network apart from its predecessors is that it can use the radio frequency spectrum more efficiently, enables users to make digitally encrypted phone conversations, and provide data services for mobile, starting with SMS text messages, by employing Global System for Mobile Communications standard. 2G network can suffice the basic need for communication, but it was far from accessing the Internet smoothly. 

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The 3G network was upgraded over 2G, 2.5G, GPRS, and 2.75G EDGE networks. In mid-2001, NTT DoCoMo introduced the first commercial 3G network. Notably, the 3G network offered faster data transfer and better voice quality. China has launched the 3G mobile telecommunications standard TD-SCDMA, or Time Division-Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access, which has been adopted by ITU and 3GPP as part of UMTS Release 4, becoming a global standard.

By employing technologies that include OFDMA and MIMO, the 4G network increases the efficiency and speed of the data servicer for simultaneous usage. At the same time, 4G has made a mobile payment, gaming, e-commerce, and live streaming possible. In China, the trend has resulted in the emergence and blossoming of companies including Alipay, WeChat, Huawei, Xiaomi, ByteDance, DIDI, Meituan, and Pinduoduo. However, congestion issues are still one fundamental limitation of 4G; we will need a better solution to address it. That brings us to the 5G network, which was first deployed in 2019, and has higher download speeds, up to 10 gigabits per second; higher bandwidth, which improves both the quality and quantity of connections; and lower delay. Compared to 5G's enormous potential in IoT, AITO, machine learning, increasing connectivity, and efficiency is not its most significant benefit. Though the concept of "the Internet of Things" was first introduced in 1980, it was still only a blueprint until the 5G network was deployed. We expect a USD 1.1 trillion global markets for Artificial intelligence of things (AIOT) in 2025. In China, the AIOT market is growing at a 20% CAGR and exceeds CNY 2 trillion.

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Many believe that cellular network technology will have a breakthrough every ten years, and thus we predict the next-generation cellular networks will be marketed in 2030. As the 5G network has been widely deployed, many countries have begun researching and developing next-generation cellular networks and trying to take the lead. Although there is no clear direction for the next generation (6G) cellular network technology, we believe that a broader range of connectivity, higher bandwidth, lower delay, more stability, and more intelligence will become the technological focus for the 6G network. To embrace the 6G opportunities, countries and organizations have put the 6G R&D on the top of their agenda: the United States established the Next G Alliance initiative to facilitate the research on next-generation wireless technology, particularly in 6G; A similar initiative called Hexa-X was launched in Europe; China formed the IMT-2030 (6G) Promotion Group to push forward an international standard for 6G. We anticipate that the R&D in the United States, Europe, and China will provide critical growth to the 6G network and services and impact the surrounding areas moving forward, as they have a solid cellular network technology foundation and infrastructure that paves the way for the development of upcoming 6G network. On the other hand, discovering usage scenarios and applications is crucial to developing 6G. We believe that aside from extending the current 5G network services, 6G will focus on creating an immersive environment that redefines communication and has applications that include but are not limited to the Metaverse, Space-Air-Ground Integrated Wireless Communication, underwater communication, and holographic communication.

Although countries have taken different approaches to 6G, some commonalities exist in their research, such as Terahertz (THz) communication, Visible Light Communication, and dynamic spectrum sharing. However, the escalating conflict between East and West, as evidenced by rising US-China tensions, will presumably result in more fierce competition rather than collaboration in developing cut-edge technologies like 6G. Despite their concerns about cyber security breaches and data leaks, we believe that the 6G network will better connect people than ever before by enabling the creation of a universal and immersive virtual world, such as Metaverse, which will eventually break down geographical and linguistic barriers. To achieve that, communication technologies, fundamental science breakthroughs, and the implementation of related data security standards will be the crucial component in developing the 6G network and services. To summarize, we place a high value on 6G technology due to its scientific and commercial potential and ability to bring about fundamental changes in the world. We will continue to monitor the latest trends and updates in 6G technologies.


If you want to learn more about the trends in 5G sectors in both China and the US, join us in Manhattan on July 29-30, WIM (World Innovators Meet) 2022 and we will hold a keynote speech, "A Brief History of Mobile Technologies in China and the Importance of Globalization for Continued Innovation". We invited Karl J. Weaver to the panel to share their thoughts about cutting-edge communication technology. Meanwhile, you could interact with like-minded business leaders, investors, scholars, and international relations experts on the key issues and opportunities facing U.S-China business collaboration and investments. 

Over the course of 2 days, hear from speakers on the past, present, and future of innovation and exchange between China and the world–from trends in Blockchain, IoT, AI, 5G, Biotech and Fintech for 10 sessions, and network with 175 attendees representing top institutional investors, venture funds, and investment firms.