Research Note

April 2024 With sustainability at the center of 6G, we are entering the post-Shannon era: semantic communications

April 2024


Tervetuloa! Back from the third 6G Symposium held at Levi Summit in Sirkka, Finland, above the artic circle, hosted by Business Finland and 6G Finland, where 150 people from academia, equipment vendors, test and measurement companies, government agencies, communications service providers (CSPs), and chipset manufacturers made the journey to participate in critical conversations about what 6G could and could not be. What a blast! Sustainability, resiliency, security, spectrum, beyond 5G technology, and economics, respectively were the key themes. Sustainability was in everyone’s mind and probably the most cited word during the 3 days.

All this boils down to a fundamental question: can we continue to do what we have being doing for the past 3 decades or so? That is, playing with Claude Elwood Shannon’s law of throwing more spectrum, more antennas, and more base stations to keep up with the unabated demand for capacity. We’d better find a new way of building and upgrading wireless communications networks because according to Nokia Bell Labs’ assessment and predictions by 2028 the current 5G systems will be running out of capacity (Figure 1).

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