Chinese handset maker Vivo kicked-off R&D efforts for 6G at its headquarters, Xinhua News Agency reported stating the move aimed to ready the company for challenges driven by soaring demand for data on mobile devices.

Qin Fei, head of the Vivo Communications Research Institute, said while 5G services have only been recently introduced, Vivo was outlining plans for studying potential advancements, the news agency wrote.

The institute established a team to test application scenarios for potential 6G technologies, Qin said, adding it had already participated in a number of discussions on its direction with the broader industry.

Researchers will work with domestic and overseas universities to explore possible technology directions.

Vivo gained an early lead in China’s 5G smartphone market and last week unveiled its latest concept model, Apex 2020, which offered insight into its future design direction.

But it faces competition in the race to develop 6G, with NTT Docomo setting out a strategy to take a leading position in deploying the technology, and a coalition involving SK Telecom, Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung Electronics also conducting research.