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Rosenworcel Calls for 6G Initiative

Would like an effort modeled after the recent Project Solarium

6G Concept Image
Getty Images Zhihong Zhuo

Jessica Rosenworcel is talking up 6G.

“If you think I’m too early on this one, think again. Much like in the early days of 5G, the scrum for 6G is already intensifying,” she said.

Rosenworcel, acting chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission, spoke Tuesday to the wireless industry’s Americas Spectrum Management Conference. She devoted a good part of her online remarks to the topic “Paving the Way for 6G and Beyond.”

She cited plans or developments that look ahead to 6G in South Korea, Finland, Japan and China.

While no one knows exactly what 6G will entail, she said, “Let’s learn from what came before. Let’s acknowledge here and now that it is time to start thinking seriously about how we can better position ourselves for success with 6G.”

She called for a “6G Solarium” modeled on a recent bipartisan government initiative called “Project Solarium” that resulted in 80 recommendations on how to overhaul the nation’s approach to cybersecurity.

“What we need now is new thinking, broader consensus and more early focus than we had for 5G,” Rosenworcel said. “We need a process for prioritizing and executing on spectrum objectives and for developing strategies to align the ends, way  and means for 6G.” She wants to see a similar effort that brings together government, business, the non-profit sector “and the rest of civil society and the public to chart a new course.”

Rosenworcel said that to help, the FCC’s Technological Advisory Council could be charged with “looking beyond 5G and conceptualizing 6G — to help set the stage for our leadership. By refocusing the TAC in this way, the FCC will be able to stay on top of new developments and ensure that the nation can turn the latest scientific research into viable communications technologies that will help power our future.”

Not to skip over 5G, in the first half of her remarks Rosenworcel discussed steps that she said would “reinvigorate the momentum toward 5G.”

She highlighted FCC efforts to provide more spectrum — including the granting of 5,600 licenses in the C-band — as well as her goals of expanding the reach of fiber facilities, diversifying technology that goes into 5G networks, building security and resiliency in supply chains, and participating more substantially in global technology standards-setting.