6G networks to hit market by 2030 amid ‘industrial metaverse’ expansion: Nokia CEO

Sixth-generation or 6G networks will become available in the market by 2030, amid the proliferation of “industrial metaverse”, Pekka Lundmark, President, and CEO of Finnish telecoms gear maker Nokia have predicted.

“Right now, we’re all building 5G networks, as we know, but by the time quantum computing is maturing for commercial applications, we’re going to be talking about 6G,” Lundmark was quoted as saying by media reports. “By then, [2030], definitely the smartphone as we know it today will not anymore be the most common interface.”

The Nokia chief executive was speaking during a panel discussion in Davos on “strategic outlook on the digital economy” Tuesday morning.

Lundmark noted that the “physical world and the digital world will grow together”, which eventually means that a user could enter a virtual reality (VR) world and change something in the real, physical world. 

Ruth Porat, Chief Financial Officer at Alphabet, also on the panel, predicted that users could translate conversations in real-time using augmented reality (AR) glasses.

Nokia expects the phase-1 of 6G standardization to likely start from 2025, leading to the first 6G specification in 3GPP Release 21 by 2028. It will be followed by commercial deployments around 2030.

6G will be accelerated by 5G-Advanced, the next standard enhancements for 5G. It will be a key focus for 3GPP in Release 18 and 19 onwards and will come laced with extended capabilities, improved efficiency, and enhanced user experience.