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What will 6G mean for MVNOs?

6G is coming: why MVNOs should make their voices heard

Evolution is constant – and it’s never too early to get involved in the Next Big Thing. In this Q&A, Mythri Hunukumbure, Chief Engineer, Samsung R&D Institute UK, highlights a window of opportunity to help

shape the future of 6G.

Is 6G coming soon?

First of all, don’t be scared – 6G won’t come fully into play for about seven or eight years. And as ever, it will be an evolution – it’s not going to happen all of a sudden. That said, the R&D labs are already looking into this – and we should all have an eye on it.

What will 6G mean for MVNOs?

Fundamentally, slicing will be optimised. 5G has already helped us with slicing and it will continue to do so. It will open up a lot of new applications whereby MNOs could potentially sell MVNOs a slice that also offers radio control.

Today, MVNOs don’t like access control; they don’t prioritise uses. Instead, they access the capability and resell it. Take, for example, these new machine environments such as industrial IoT or a manufacturing site. Here, by taking a slice, you can operate and manage these entirely. You can control when devices connect, how devices connect and how long they have to wait.

What role will AI play?

These capabilities can be optimised with the help of AI and Machine Learning (ML) as well. This is because having access to this data will enable you to enhance them in a niche market – you can become experts in your chosen space. Take a car manufacturer – you can provide a connectivity service for them in their factory. You’ll receive all of the data, develop and revolutionise your solutions – opening up a niche market.

With AI, ML and machine-to-machine communication, there’s a wealth of opportunities. And one of the up sides is that you won’t experience the ethical issues that we do if we track human users. Here, we come up

against privacy issues, but with machines in a controlled environment you don’t have that constraint, which means you can fully seize the power of these AI/ML solutions.

Is it time for MVNOs to get involved?

It is vital, in my opinion, that MVNOs start looking ahead to the emergence of 6G in order to shape it. What traditionally happens is that the big entities – the Samsungs and other big players – come up with their vision but using a limited number of people. What there should be is multiple inputs – other entities who see the need for 6G and what it will allow us to do differently.

The more ideas we have on the table, the better it will be. Standards can be discussed and formed this way.

Will MVNO voices be heard?

I don’t know practically whether this will happen, but what I have seen from 4G is that a limited number of companies and entities put their thoughts forward. Governments tend to listen to these big companies, which in turn helps them form their national agendas – so it would be really interesting if more voices were heard. 6G is coming: why MVNOs should make their voices heard.

Key takeaway It may not be easy to make MVNO voices heard in the shaping of 6G – but it certainly won’t happen if MVNOs don’t speak up. Actively inserting yourself into the conversation could be extremely valuable.

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