Next-Generation Positioning Within 6G

The focus of 6G will be on immersive applications like  eXtreme Reality (XR) and digital twins. The ambition is to close the gap between the physical and the digital world. In that sense, 6G can be considered the communication standard for the metaverse. As the perception of the physical world requires our senses, sensing and localization are among the hot topics in 6G. While positioning in 5G requires the active participation of a 5G-enabled device, passive sensing of the environment will be one of the disruptive features in 6G. For the envisioned use cases, 6G will also need to enhance the localization accuracy to below one centimeter.

To  meet  the  ambitious  goals  for  positioning  and  sensing,  6G  offers  a  wide  variety  of critical technology elements. Fraunhofer provides early practical hands-on experience in all these elements within the lighthouse project 6G SENTINEL. This collaborative activity involving five Fraunhofer institutes has been initiated in 2021, well ahead of the expected start of 6G standardization in 2025 to provide detailed and well-founded data about the advantages and limitations of the different technology elements. In addition to positioning, energy efficiency, flexible 3D networks and THz frequencies, data privacy, security, and trust are important topics in the on-going discussions to shape the next generation of mobile communications.

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