The NGMN Alliance called on network operators to take a proactive stance in ensuring a successful transition to 6G, as it published a report outlining some of the steps the industry will need to take to deliver new services and capabilities powered by the technology.

NGMN claimed the 6G Position Statement: An Operator View report sets a guide for the future of communications networks, emphasising the need for a new paradigm for a graceful evolution, and successful value creation and delivery.

At the crux, NGMN believes the shift to 6G will be different to past approaches taken by operators to introduce new mobile technology, requiring an evolution from traditional methods.

The report covers a range of areas operators need to focus on including key requirements and design considerations like network simplification; absolute energy reduction; network AI transformation and predictive management; safe and resilient infrastructure; and global standards and software upgrades to 6G.

Furthermore, it outlines why there is no intrinsic need for a hardware refresh or compromise to existing services like voice and access across mobile, fixed and non-terrestrial networks.

Luke Ibbetson, board member of the NGMN Alliance and head of R&D at Vodafone Group, stated whatever 6G might become, it will be built on the foundations of 5G.

He added the report shines a light on the challenges facing the industry in moving to 6G.

“Simultaneously, as we embark on this journey towards the 6G era, we are actively steering network disaggregation and an open, interoperable, cloud native architecture.”

NGMN previously published papers focusing on 6G use cases, drivers for the technology and design considerations.

The technology has been tipped by several industry players to be rolled out at the end of the decade, although South Korea is targeting the first commercial deployment in 2028.