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6G use cases and analysis

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The journey to 6G continues with the identification of use cases that attempt to predict major
trends in usage scenarios helping to steer the needs and requirements for future generational
change. These predictions on demand will feed into the ITU-R IMT Vision for 2030 and beyond
that specify future connectivity requirements, followed by standards development organisations
who develop and standardise appropriate technologies.

A similar approach was used for 5G, leading to the introduction of capabilities that fulfil the
forecast need of industry and users. For example, 5G introduced new capabilities in both the radio
access and core network. Firstly, the 5G radio access network was designed to be forward-looking
and flexible to support new frequency bands, able to support many different new applications
demanding more critical KPIs. Secondly, the 5G core network, was designed with service-based
architecture, access-independent and as a converged framework to support a wide range of
services.

The increasingly intelligent cloud-native design of 5G allows it to play out beyond this decade. In
this context, it is important to consider the drivers and demands when we identify differentiated
opportunities for future 6G capabilities. It is with this background that NGMN invited its
membership (operators, technology suppliers and academic advisors), to contribute towards
their views on which demands and use cases they predict will emerge in the future decade.
The approach taken includes multiple steps: methodology design, use case collection, high-level
classification, generic use case abstraction, and use case analysis. A total of 50 use cases were
contributed, which were categorised into 4 classes, then mapped into 14 generic use cases. At this
stage, these use cases are considered provisional to be further explored and prioritised. At first
glance, some of these use cases appear to be in the context of 5G and 5G-advanced. Due to the
limitation of time and depth, the project has made a preliminary analysis on 5G differentiation.

 


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