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Oppo plans 6G network, establishes research team

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Oppo has outlined its intention to venture into 6G, as part of the Chinese multinational telco’s future plans to create next-generation communications offerings.

The phone maker’s research arm, the Oppo Research Institute in Shenzhen, has released its first 6G white paper: “6G AI-Cube Intelligent Networking”, to provide the telecommunications industry with insight into how artificial intelligence (AI) can empower 6G network architecture.

The white paper also proposes a more detailed vision for the design of next-generation communication networks, with Oppo saying it believes 6G will reshape the way people interact with AI like never before, by allowing AI to become a public-serving technology that can be used by everyone.

The Chinese phone manufacturer, which launched in SA in 2020, previously told ITWeb it has ambitious plans for massive growth in the next five years locally, by introducing high-quality, affordable devices.

As a key contributor to the popularisation of 5G, Oppo is working with various partners to promote the large-scale commercialisation of 5G.

The telco says it believes that smart devices, when empowered by 6G, will become important participants of AI, enabling the downloading and deploying of AI algorithms at different application levels, to create new immersive experiences for users, while also constantly collecting data to feed more advanced AI models.

“Technological development must be forward-looking. Mobile communication technology evolves in decade-long periods, and standardisation of the next generation of communication technology is expected to begin in 2025, with commercial implementation following in around 2035,” says Henry Tang, Oppo chief 5G scientist.

“Looking towards 2035, Oppo expects the number of intelligent agents in the world to far exceed the number of humans. Therefore, the next generation of communication technology, 6G, should be able to serve the needs not only of people but of all forms of intelligence and their various interactions. With this end goal in mind, we have carried out the early technical research and system design.”

According to experts, 6G will be 50 times faster than 5G, providing 100 times more reliability, offering wider coverage and supporting 10 times more devices per square kilometre.

The sixth-generation standard, currently under development, will operate on terahertz (THz) bands from 100GHz to 10THz, delivering a peak data rate of 1 000 gigabits/second with air latency lower than 100 micro seconds.

Oppo points out that currently, the limited computing power and storage capacity of smart devices make it difficult for them to employ large, generalised AI algorithms.

Meanwhile, the specialised AI capable of running on these devices is unable to meet the large data demands of most users.

Under 6G networks, however, the AI domain will be able to take on multiple roles, such as that of a traditional base station, database, AI model repository and application server.

Unlike 4G and 5G networks, the AI used for inferring and decision-making in 6G networks will be organically integrated on the device side and the network side, with the device assuming a more important role.

“6G will fundamentally revolutionise how AI infers, learns, interacts and is applied, solving many traditional problems faced in AI development, such as data silos and user privacy.

“To alleviate some of the current limitations of AI algorithms, the white paper proposes dividing AI resources into different domains. Arranged according to specific AI tasks, multiple nodes and resources under the 6G network will form AI domains, providing optimal strategies for accurate AI model allocation, network resource scheduling and data-sharing,” says Oppo.

The company says it will continue to conduct pre-research into 6G technology that will assist in the formation of the world's 6G standards in the near future.

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