The arrival of fifth generation (5G) mobile communication technology will be a major factor in driving productivity and will be the key enabler for long-envisaged verticals including personalised healthcare, future manufacturing, smart energy grids, smart traffic and transportation, and public and environmental safety. This new wave of technology will accelerate the digitalisation of economies and society as a whole, moving the world significantly closer to being a truly global, digital community.


The commercialisation of 5G is expected to start from 2020 and the first standard version of 5G being finalized is mainly an evolutionary version of 4G, and thus, will not meet all the requirements set for it. The current major challenges for 5G are related to the finalisation of the global standard, maturing radio transceiver and access network implementation technologies to enable utilisation of millimetre waves at full potential and introduction of 5G through essential vertical applications. As experienced many times before, a new mobile generation appears every ten years, and thus, 6G will emerge around 2030 to satisfy all the expectations not met with 5G, as well as the emerging ones.

After being a leader in Finland’s telecommunications research for more than two decades, University of Oulu has started Academy of Finland’s Flagship eight-year-programme 6G Flagship in Spring 2018. The programme will provide intelligent digital applications and will develop the fundamental 6G competence needed for smart societies.

The Flagship will effectively steer society towards the 6G era. Through the ambitious research agenda and efficient wireless ecosystem management, the target is for Finland to become a global leader in 6G. Flagship’s impact goals are to ensure wireless expertise for the industry and to enable early adaption of smart society technologies. The Flagship cluster influences actors at national, EU and international level via participation in relevant government, regulatory and standards bodies in an expert role.

6G Flagship will influence technical communications solutions to be consumed on global markets by several billion people. “In 2025 benefits from the introduction of 5G capabilities could reach €113.1 billion per year in four key sectors which will be the first users of 5G connectivity: automotive, health, transport and energy. Investments of approximately €56.6 billion will be likely to create 2.3 million jobs in Europe”. 63% of the benefits (i.e. €71.3 billion) will arise for business and 37% will be provided for consumers and society”, (Source: "Identification and quantification of key socio-economic data to support strategic planning for the introduction of 5G in Europe" (SMART 2014/0008)).

Last updated: 31.10.2019