Casting an eye into the future, NTT and Intel are already forming a partnership to work on 6G mobile network technology.
5G networks are only just being switched on, but the trio wants to establish an organisation for 6G in the US by next spring. The three partners also intend to invite other major global companies to participate, including players from China.
While 5G is already up and running in South Korea and some US cities, and Chinese carriers are about to launch the world’s largest 5G network this week, Japanese telcos are planning to start their new services next spring.
Meanwhile, US chipmaker Qualcomm, Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson have raced to the front of the chip competition, with China’s Huawei Technologies also snagging patents and building up its development capabilities.
Sony and NTT hope to gain an edge by teaming up with Intel. One goal is to develop more advanced semiconductors. The specifics of 6G chips and telecom standards will be decided in a few years.
On a trial basis, NTT has already successfully produced chips that run on light instead of electricity, and which consumes one-hundredth of the power used by conventional chips. NTT aims to use the partnership to speed up progress towards mass production.