China Unicom and ZTE signed a strategic agreement to develop 6G technologies, with plans to steer development of the concept by exploring technical trends and standards.

In a statement, the companies detailed plans to cooperate on researching technological innovations and standards, along with the integration of 6G with satellite networks, IoT infrastructure and connected vehicles. They will focus on potential key technologies including 3D connectivity, terahertz communication, and integrated communication and sensing.

Verification and prototyping tests of these technologies are planned to assess the feasibility of infrastructure capable of delivering a peak data rate of 1Tb/s, the companies explained. Other potential goals on their radar include the potential to deliver speeds of 20Gb/s to end-users, along with capacity for traffic volumes of 100Gb/s per metre cubed.

China Unicom launched 5G service in parts of 50 cities in October 2019 alongside the country’s other major mobile operators: it partnered with China Telecom to jointly deploy infrastructure.

In January, NTT Docomo, the largest mobile operator in Japan, commenced early moves to develop 6G technology with a goal of conducting a commercial launch by 2030.