As spotted by Mobile World Live, tech giants Apple, Google and LG have joined the industry group "Next G Alliance," whose goals include advancing "North American global leadership over the 5G evolutionary path and 6G early development" and creating a "Next G development roadmap that will promote a vibrant marketplace for 6G introduction, adoption and commercialization with North American innovation in mind."
Other founding members of the group, which was created by the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions, include US carriers AT&T, Verizon, US Cellular and T-Mobile as well as Charter Communications and Canadian carriers Bell and Telus. Microsoft, Samsung, Facebook, Cisco, Ericsson, Intel, Nokia and Qualcomm are all also founding members.
Notably absent from the list is Huawei, the Chinese technology giant that was very involved in the networking side of early 5G deployments. Reports last year suggested Huawei has already begun of its own.
The founding members "shall be represented by senior business executives and are tasked with establishing the Alliance's strategy and direction," according to the NextG Alliance site. Membership as a founding member is $20,000 for 2021 with an inaugural meeting slated to take place this month to appoint a "Steering Group."
Working groups are expected to begin in early 2021, though there is no timeline for when 6G might hit the market or what it might even look like or offer. New technologies often take years to develop, and these are just two of the questions that this group will, in time, try to answer.