The head of 6G at China Mobile highlighted in a presentation at the Brooklyn 6G Summit spectrum will be the most important component for future networks, arguing the lower the frequency the better.

Liu Guangyi said nationwide coverage will be important for operators to promote the new technology.

For early deployments he suggested operators need more than 500MHz of contiguous spectrum in sub-10GHz bands. “If we can achieve that it will be very beneficial for building competitive 6G networks.”

He noted this, of course, needs to be supported by mmWave and terahertz spectrum which can be switched on and off depending on demand. “In this way we can not only minimise power consumption, but also minimise variance among different sites and improve the user experience.”

Satellite coverage will be in important to supplement the terrestrial network for drones and autonomous aircraft. He outlined an integrated space-air-ground network which will support converged access technologies.

Liu said China Mobile is working to introduce a service-based architecture into the RAN to reduce time-to-market of new services and network functions.

Earlier in the year the Chinese government outlined plans to accelerate the development of 6G through the IMT-2030 (6G) Promotion Group, which is similar the IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group that coordinated the 5G development.

Industry players don’t expect the technology to start to be deployed until at least 2030.