Ten Nations Pledge Cooperation on 6G Tech

The United States and nine other nations are pledging to cooperate on research and development efforts for sixth generation (6G) wireless technologies, including through the use of open radio access networks (Open RAN) and working through international processes to set technology and spectrum standards for the next-generation wireless services.

6G technology – by most accounts – does not yet exist in a functional form. But the telecom industry is already in the thick of technology development efforts that could see the next generation of wireless services become a reality between 2028 and 2030 according to various industry estimates. Among other attributes, 6G networks are expected to feature higher speeds and lower latency, and to support more applications beyond today’s typical mobile service offerings.

Shaping the course of the next several years of 6G technology development is at the heart of the White House’s Feb. 26 announcement of the R&D cooperation agreement between the U.S., Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

“Collaboration and unity are key to resolving pressing challenges in the development of 6G, and we hereby declare our intention to adopt relevant policies to this end in our countries, to encourage the adoption of such policies in third countries, and to advance research and development and standardization of 6G networks” that track with several shared principles, the White House announcement says.

Those shared principles include:

  • Using “trusted technology that is protective of national security”;
  • Using technologies that are reliable, resilient, safe, privacy-protecting, and that are “developed by organizations that have systematic approaches to cybersecurity, including through the use of technical standards, interfaces, and specifications; approaches such as security-by-design, able to ensure the availability of essential services; and systems designed to fail safely and recover quickly”;
  • Using technologies that are “built on global technical standards, interfaces, and specifications that are developed through open, transparent, impartial and consensus-based decision-making processes”;
  • Using technologies that employ “technical standards in line with principles laid down under the Global Industry-led and Inclusive Standard Setting & International Collaborations principle and interfaces to enable seamless interoperability between products from different suppliers, including software and hardware”;
  • Using technologies that “recognize the importance of international cooperation in promoting open, secure, resilient, inclusive, interoperable networks, such as Open Radio Access Networks, and safe, resilient, inclusive, and sustainable 6G ecosystem”;
  • Using technologies that “allow for energy-efficient deployments and operation, improving both environmental sustainability, reparability and recyclability of equipment, and the affordability necessary to support social sustainability”;
  • Using technologies that have secure and resilient supply chains;
  • Using technologies that “promote a globally competitive market along the ICT value chain and in all elements of the compute and connectivity continuum, with multiple software and hardware suppliers”; and
  • Using technologies “that could make use of new spectrum allocations or spectrum that has already been allocated for wireless services.”

“We believe this to be an indispensable contribution towards building a more inclusive, sustainable, secure, and peaceful future for all, and call upon other governments, organizations, and stakeholders to join us in supporting and upholding these principles,” the White House announcement says.