BEIJING – China’s ministry of science and technology announced the setting up of a working team to research and develop 6G networks just days after the commercial launch of 5G services in the country, state media reported Thursday.
Vice Minister of Science and Technology Wang Xi said the 6G technology research “is still in the initial stage of exploration” so key indicators and application scenarios have yet to be clearly defined, according to public broadcaster CGTN.
The ministry has also set up a group comprising 37 experts from universities, research institutes and technology companies to promote the development of this technology and advise on decisions to be made by the authorities in this regard.
This move officially marks the start of 6G research and development in China although in September, Ren Zhengfei, the founder of Chinese telecom giant Huawei – which has the most 5G patents globally – revealed that his company had already begun research on 6G.
Chinese media had reported in November last year that the country was expected to formally start research and development on 6G networks in 2020 and launch the technology is 2030, but the ministry made no reference to any deadlines in its latest statement.
Su Xin, head of 5G technology working group at China’s ministry of industry and information technology, had said at the time that 6G could extend coverage to higher altitudes and offer transmission speeds of up to one terabyte per second, which is 10 times that of 5G.
Last Friday, Chinese telecom operators began offering 5G mobile services at a monthly price of between 128-599 yuan ($18.2 – $85.4) and speeds of between 500 megabytes per second and one gigabyte per second, higher than those offered by 4G networks so far.