Today many areas of the globe are connected through 4G and 5G networks are still being installed in many areas. With this in mind, it seems a bit early to be discussing the advent of 6G technology. Why would be moving on to the next “G” when so many are still getting connected through 5G networks?
It is a fair question, but what is important to remember is that technology is always surging forward so in a sense we have always been preparing and leading up to the 6G world. The fact we are facing when we see the quick applications of 6G is that technology may be moving forward faster than expected. We have progressed from 1G to 5G in such a short amount of time that 6G is just the next logical step in the move toward greater technology.
It makes sense to call 5G’s successor, “6G”, but the fact is it may never be called this. It may take on a new name like “5G Enhanced”, “5G Advanced” or something similar. At some point the whole name and number system may become redundant in the face of ubiquitous optimal connectivity.
In the end no matter if we are using 5G, 6G or whatever “G” we can expect much faster speeds and better connections that low progress bars and long wait times for regular data will be a thing of the past, at least by today’s standards. Everything will just be available as it is needed and we won’t have to coming up with new names to describe the situation.
When Will 6G Come Out?
It has been the trend for new mobile networks to be coming out every 10 years. This means that we can expect mobile companies to begin wheeling out the 6G networks in 2030. This is the date that most of the major mobile networks have scheduled their 6G test runs and we will see phone companies coming out with phone cables of 6G capacity.
Still thee thing take time and it is not uncommon to see preparations work begin on a new network begin as early as 10 years in advance of the implementation of new network technology. This is why we are talking about 6G networks when most people are still planning on buying their first 5G phone anytime soon.
Progress will not be made instantaneously and for the same reasons we have seen delays in 5G implementation, we may see similar issues with 6G networks as they are implemented. There will be important discussions about frequency bandwidths, spectrum licenses and many other rules to lay down.
Even though the implementation of 6G networks is set for only a decade, there actually aren’t many telecommunications companies that are actually taking any serious action at the moment. But things are expected as we learn more about how 5G has had trouble and surmounted its difficulties. 6G will be able to improve on these points where 5G was weaker and it shouldn’t take so long to get set up just right on the stage and begin its stellar performance.
Finland’s University of Oulu, announced the funding of their 6G program that will research materials, software, antenna and everything else that will be needed before 6G can be launched successfully. This will give researchers a head start on collecting the needed hardware and working out the kinks in the new technologies that will need to be applied.
Networks of all types and uses that are functioning today will only function better with the application of 6G networking. Essentially every single benefit and improvement that we enjoyed with the 5G network will be greatly improved in the 6G.
We will be expecting some greatly advanced AR and VR systems, even better than those we have been enjoying with cutting edge 5G. We will also have interconnected cities and agricultural areas, AI will be taking on a larger role in managing systems, robots will be capable of tasks with greater complexities, car-to-car communications will also be added and these are just the beginning.
According to an exciting comment made by an expert on the subject, Marcus Weldon of Nokia Bell Labs, “[6G] will be much like the 6th sense experience that connects humans with their machines” like the frontier where biology meets artificial intelligence.
The low latency of 5G somewhere around 4ms is one of the things that makes it so great. But, 6G is also expected to bring this rating even lower. Quite possibly, latency and lags can be all but eliminated from the communications equation. This will mean video and gaming will only be delayed by the time it takes to turn on a screen, Phone communications will be so clear it will be like sitting in the same room, and the possibilities get better from there.
One thing we have noticed in the past as the capacity of the 3G was replaced by the 4G and on to the 5G was that the applications are new and surprising as the capacity also increases. This will cause a new wave in products and services that will be geared toward using this capacity to the max.
Differences Between 5G and 6G
The low latency and high speeds of 6G will be the primary thing that sets it apart from 5G, much in the same way these characteristics separate the 4G and 5G.
How fast are we talking here? It is still too early to say, but even with the introduction of 5G we have been seeing speeds of up to 1GBPS. We can expect 6G to splash this figure clean out of the water. Some speculate that speeds in excess of several 100GBPS are probable and even terabytes per second will be possible.
We imagine that it will be the use of ultra-high frequencies, called millimeter waves, in the radio spectrum to transmit data. This is how 5G transmits so much data, the higher the frequency used the greater the amount of data it can transfer. 6G could reach some of the highest radio frequencies possible, in the 300GHz range or even higher.
Nevertheless, like we are seeing now, there may be some limitations with this plan. 5G has become extremely localized due to its limited millimeter ranges, this could be a barrier for 6G as well.
But there is a chance that by 2030 we will have developed the capacity to amplify radio strength so we can avoid the erection of thousands and millions of 6G communications towers.
Do We Really Need 6G?
5G has already been hailed as the next step that will improve the accessibility of the internet for many people and everything from entertainment to health care has been greatly improved. The big question today is if there is actually room for improvement in the 5G networks, in our opinions, absolutely.
Nevertheless, as fun as it is to imagine a world connected through 6G, if 5G pans at as everyone hopes it will, 6G may never even be necessary.
The arrival of 6G could be postponed indefinitely if manufacturers, telecommunications companies and regulators do their best to make 5G all it can be. If all the kinks can be worked out of the 5G networks new products will be entering the market and the technology could evolve endlessly.