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NGMN publishes ITU-R Framework for IMT-2030: Review and Future Direction

The NGMN Alliance (NGMN) issued the “ITU-R Framework for IMT-2030: Review and Future Direction”. In this essential publication NGMN welcomes the recent report by ITU-R on the 'Framework and overall objectives of the future development of IMT for 2030 and beyond.' This ITU-R report sets an important framework for future technology discussions towards 6G.

“Our publication underlines the importance of investment confidence for operators in order to deliver tangible value to customers while ensuring the commercial sustainability of current and future networks,” said Luke Ibbetson, Member of the NGMN Alliance Board and Head of Group R&D at Vodafone. “The capabilities identified for IMT-2030 should be able to be deployed as and when required, without compromising existing core connectivity services, and reflect a customer need that generates new value.”

There is close alignment between NGMN's vision for 6G and the IMT-2030 framework. This close alignment covers vision, usage scenarios and essential capabilities, particularly related to practical and sustainable deployment and emphasizing harmonised global standards for mobile networks. NGMN goes on to provide recommendations and guidance on ITU-R aspects as it moves forward in the next stage of the IMT-2030 process, including:

  • New features should be able to be deployed as and when required, without compromising existing core connectivity services, which reflect customer needs and generate new values.

  • Evaluation should include interworking of IMT-2030 candidates with non-IMT systems.

  • Reinforcement of the importance of global standards for mobile networks within industry consensus-based standards organisations (e.g., 3GPP).

  • Consideration that advanced features introduced with the IMT-2020 network and/or a new radio interface might be candidates for IMT-2030.

  • Any new radio interface must demonstrate significant benefits over and above IMT-2020 in key metrics such as spectral and/or energy efficiency, overall energy consumption reduction and/or cost advantages.

  • Further work would be beneficial, as input to the process and next steps, to understand the commercial imperative for any extreme requirements of IMT-2030.

  • IMT-2030 should continue to evolve based on IP communications, considering cloud native solutions, disaggregation, and service-based architecture, ensuring both forward and backward compatibility. Support for self-organisation to manage complexity and emerging capabilities.

“This publication provides a realistic evaluation of IMT-2030 technologies”, said Michael Irizarry, Member of the NGMN Alliance Board and Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Engineering and Information Technology, UScellular. “For a new IMT-2030 radio technology to become widely adopted for 6G, it must demonstrate significant benefits across key metrics such as energy efficiency, traffic capacity and cost reduction”.

"We at NGMN look forward to collaborative efforts with the ITU-R and subsequent phases of activity to shape the future of IMT-2030," said Madam Yuhong Huang, Member of the NGMN Alliance Board and General Manager China Mobile Research Institute. She added, “We hope the industry will prioritize the development needs outlined by NGMN on behalf of its operator members and actively participate in 6G research, contributing novel technologies, unlocking innovative business opportunities, and enabling the sustainable development of the society for the benefit of our customers.”

Following the NGMN publications “6G Position Statement, an Operator View”, “6G Use Cases and Analysis”, “6G Drivers and Vision” and “6G Requirements and Design Considerations”, this latest publication “Analysis of ITU-R Framework for IMT-2030” marks the next step towards guidance for E2E requirements for 6G.

Collaboration is key to driving the industry’s most important subjects such as NGMN’s Strategic Focus Topics: Mastering the Route to Disaggregation, Green Future Networks and 6G. NGMN therefore invites all parties across the entire value chain to join the Alliance in this important endeavour.

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