New and emerging extended reality technologies seen as the next major paradigm shift in telecommunications
Many experts believe that new and emerging extended reality technologies will lead to the next major paradigm shift in telecommunications, with lightweight XR glasses ultimately overtaking smartphones as the dominant device type in mobile networks. This evolution has major implications on the requirements for future networks.

The availability of discrete, attractive and high-performing extended reality (XR) devices is key to the mass-market success of XR applications, and the process of creating them is well underway. Device developers are working intensively to evolve the device form factor from today’s bulky head-mounted displays (HMDs) to lightweight and stylish glasses that will depend on computation offloading to a much greater extent.

It is of the utmost importance that future networks are designed and dimensioned to meet the requirements of XR applications. Low latency, high reliability and high data rates will be essential to sustain user quality of experience (QoE) in XR applications while offloading computation services. XR applications are also going to generate a significant amount of additional traffic, which networks must have the capacity to handle.

To gain a better understanding of XR network requirements, Ericsson has derived a set of XR operating points as concrete samples from the requirements space, as illustrated in Figure 1. For the sake of simplicity, we refer to the selected samples (represented by the dots in Figure 1) as XR “flavors.” We have used the flavors to make projections regarding how the network requirements of XR applications, devices and computation offloading variants are likely to evolve over time, and what implications the evolving requirements will have in terms of network capabilities.

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