Japan and Finland collaborate on 6G development

A hand changing a wooden block from 5G to 6G
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Japanese and Finnish industry groups will conduct 6G research and development as they look to lead the formation of 6G standards, a sector that has attracted many Chinese companies.

Japan's Beyond 5G Promotion Consortium has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 6G Flagship, an ecosystem for research, development and innovation operated by the University of Oulu in Finland, to further promote cooperation.

"Japan is a major global player in the development of wireless mobile technologies and it is in Finland's interest to expand the cooperation to themes where mutual competitive advantage can be achieved for 6G development," Matti Latva-aho, director of 6G Flagship, told IT Pro.

"The importance of the collaboration is underlined by Japan's decision earlier this spring to invest $2 billion in the development of 6G technologies.

These areas of cooperation include an exchange of information and publications, personnel exchange and collaborative research and development projects. Furthermore, Finnish telecom supplier Nokia will join the effort, as reported by Nikkei Asia.

The Beyond 5G Promotion Consortium aims to commercialise 6G technology in the 2030s and includes among its members the University of Tokyo, Nippon Telegraph & Telephone, NTT Docomo, KDDI, SoftBank and Rakuten.

This comes after Japan and the US committed $4.5 billion in April to invest in next-gen 6G technologies, also known as "beyond 5G, in a race with China.

The US approved a bill today intended to boost the country's ability to compete with Chinese technology. The measures include $190 billion to strengthen US technology and research, $54 billion for semiconductor and telecommunications equipment research, as well as $2 billion dedicated to chips used by automakers. In response to the bill, the Chinese parliament said it showed a "paranoid delusion of wanting to be the only winner" and had distorted the original spirit of innovation and competition.

Meanwhile, Japan is hoping to lure semiconductor makers with financial incentives as it aims to secure a supply chain of this technology at home. It imports over 60% of its semiconductors from overseas, mainly Taiwan and China, and there are concerns that tense global relationships could continue to affect the production of this component in the future.

Zach Marzouk

Zach Marzouk is a former ITPro, CloudPro, and ChannelPro staff writer, covering topics like security, privacy, worker rights, and startups, primarily in the Asia Pacific and the US regions. Zach joined ITPro in 2017 where he was introduced to the world of B2B technology as a junior staff writer, before he returned to Argentina in 2018, working in communications and as a copywriter. In 2021, he made his way back to ITPro as a staff writer during the pandemic, before joining the world of freelance in 2022.