Nokia CEO Predicts 2030 Arrival For 6G, But Not On Smartphone

The smartphone will not be the most common connectivity interface by the end of the decade, the CEO of telecoms equipment giant Nokia has suggested.

According to CNBC, Nokia CEO Pekka Lundmark made the remarks when speaking on a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday.

He was asked when he thinks the world will move away from using smartphones to using smart glasses and other devices that are worn on the face, Lundmark replied it will definitely happen by the time 6G arrives in 2030.

6G arrival

Lundmark said he expects 6G mobile networks to be in operation by the end of the decade, but he doesn’t think the smartphone will be the most “common interface” by then.

This is ironic is considering that one of Nokia’s divisions was once upon a time the world’s leading mobile phone and smartphone maker.

But now the Finnish-based tech giant is mostly known for building telecom and mobile networks, and is one of the main telecom equipment makers in the world besides Ericsson, Huawei and others.

Lundmark at the World Economic Forum in Davos, was asked when he thinks the world will move away from using smartphones to using smart glasses and other devices that are worn on the face, Lundmark said it will happen before 6G arrives.

“By then, definitely the smartphone as we know it today will not anymore be the most common interface,” he said. “Many of these things will be built directly into our bodies.”

Lundmark did not specify exactly what he was referring to, but it comes as a number of companies, including Elon Musk’s Neuralink, develop wireless brain interfaces that can be implanted into the brain and used for communication with machines and other people.

Other firms are developing chips that could be implanted under the skin to unlock things such as doors, computers etc.

Meanwhile tech giants including Meta, Google and Microsoft are working on augmented reality headsets that some speculate could one day replace the humble smartphone.

Microsoft’s HoloLens 2. Microsoft

Nokia’s Lundmark also said that by 2030, he believes there will be a “digital twin of everything” that will require “massive computational resources.”

In order to transmit all the computers bits that the metaverse will require, networks will need to be at least 100 times or even 1,000 times faster than they are today, Lundmark reportedly said.

Legacy tech

It remains to be seen whether the world will transition to 6G networks in Lundmark’s timeframe, considering how long it taking to close down legacy mobile networks.

Last December the British government confirmed that the UK’s second generation (2G) and third generation (3G) mobile networks would only be switched off in 2033.

In the UK, 2G (and 2.5G/GPRS) networks were first introduced back in the 1990s, and are still used today for mobile calls and text messages.

The first commercial 3G networks arrived in the UK in 2003, and offered painfully slow (by today’s standards) browsing capabilities.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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