Just as society is starting to learn about 5G wireless networks, new ideas are forming for a 6G network. While 5G opened the door to wider and faster bandwidth to accommodate autonomous vehicles and automated tasks, 6G will be more equipped to handle virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and extended reality (XR). Here's a deeper look at what's on the horizon with 6G.
Wider Bandwidth and Higher Speed
The main characteristics of a 6G network, much like 5G, are wider bandwidth and higher speed. Frequency bands will expand to terahertz (THz) with 6G while transmission speed jumps from 20 gigabits per second (Gbps) to 1 terabit per second (Tbps). In the process, latency will be reduced to less than one millisecond, making it a much more reliable connection.
Due to its broader coverage and faster speed, 6G will be more suitable for advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). Machine learning combined with automation will be an important aspect of this development. It will also facilitate an expansion of big data for factories and cloud-based businesses.
Rise of Extended Reality
Extended reality is the result of combining virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality. Virtual reality simulates the physical world with the use of electronic equipment such as a helmet or goggles. Augmented reality is an interactive experience that replaces physical elements with digital representations. Mixed reality mixes the physical and virtual worlds with 3D interactions.
Although XR can already work on 5G, it will be a greatly enhanced experience with 6G. Its application will be useful in multiple industries such as medicine, media, education and manufacturing. The amount of data that 6G will support allows for virtual face-to-face real-time meetings to seem even more real.Are you prepared for planning a 6G network? Even if you haven't adopted 5G for your infrastructure yet, it's good to know what's up ahead. Working with technology professionals is the best way to plan a roadmap for your future technology.
Hear insights and tips from the connectivity experts on how the connectivity landscape is changing and how a business should choose the right connectivity. Check out the replay of "The Future of Connectivity".
More Expansive Communication
Another benefit of 6G will be how it improves communication. It will be useful in urban and rural areas for transmitting large amounts of data. To make big data more efficient, AI will help speed up the process. Some of the more advanced applications include holographic communication and other forms of 3D technology.
Virtual communications will encompass all five senses, delivering immersive experiences. At its most powerful, 6G allows for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, which can prevent traffic accidents. It may even finally create an environment for domestic robots.
Challenges Ahead for 6G Implementation
One of the biggest challenges facing the development of 6G will be the investment in new technology to facilitate terabit speeds. It will require new cabling that could disrupt the current infrastructure. Much more computing power will be required, so ideally, renewable energy will be part of the mix.
In order for 6G to gain acceptance with significant early adopters, it must deliver high reliability for mission-critical tasks. A key technological challenge will be meeting demand for high-energy consumption with stronger antennae density. Engineers will need to improve battery life of network devices.
Due to the increase in data shared over wireless connections, there will be a greater need to keep up with the most robust cybersecurity. Hackers will have an easier time stealing data from those that don't take cybersecurity seriously.
Another risk factor to consider that could slow down 6G development is the lack of standards set by a governing body. At present, there is no formal entity overseeing the development of 6G. Without standards, there will likely be incompatibility issues.
Where Is 6G Going?
Despite the technological and financial hurdles facing 6G development, there are large players trying to beat competitors at new innovations. The earliest 6G pioneers can expect standards is 2028, according to Samsung. Such a milestone would set up mass commercialization by 2030.
You'll know it's the 6G era when you begin interacting with holograms. Extended reality will no longer be just a novelty and will provide useful functions for various industries. A much greater emphasis and expectation will be placed on the reliability and trustworthiness of technological performance.
Currently, the United States and China are in a race to develop a 6G network. Congress is working on a roadmap for the Biden administration to follow that includes reallocation of the radio spectrum to accommodate 6G functions. This blueprint is being developed with the help of the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS). The organization aims to fast-track 6G standards by 2024-2025.