6G or the Sixth Generation Wireless is next version to 5G cellular technology. But still many areas of the globe use 4G or even 3G networks. Therefore, discussing about 6G may seem like bit early or impractical. But as the world goes forward and discover new technology, we should be well aware about it. As we all know technology renews and invents very fast, but it takes time to spread, mature and absorb by all the people. However, we’ve managed to transform from 1G to 5G in such a relatively short amount of time period, so 6G is just the natural progression of faster and better wireless connectivity.
6G networks will have higher frequencies, higher capacities and much lower latency than 5G. Several goals to be accomplished by 6G network are: to support one micro-second latency communications, representing 1000 times faster or 1/1000th the latency than one millisecond throughput.
Benefits of 6G
We are already blessed to have more powerful VR and AR systems with 5G, AI at our fingertips, interconnected smart cities, intelligent robotics working in factories and etc. At the same time, 6G will provide you more facilities to make easy, faster and even more bandwidth for the above tasks.
6G will support to 1 terabyte per second (Tbps) speeds. So, this level of capacity and latency will extend the performance of existing as well as innovative applications. It will also enable much faster sampling rates with its higher frequencies. The combination of smaller wavelengths and the use of frequency sensitivity will lead to potentially advances in wireless sensing solutions.
Additionally, Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) will be built into all 6G networks as well. As part of a combined computation infrastructure framework, edge and core computing will become more integrated when 6G works. That means it will provide many benefits for the operations like: improving access to AI capabilities.
Difference between 5G and 6G
As mentioned earlier, the speed and the latency is the major difference between 5G and 6G. And also according to the expectations, the speed will be 1 Tbps. On the other hand, in the case of frequencies, 5G’s bandwidth capacity lies in the fact that it uses high radio frequencies. The higher you go up the radio spectrum, the more data you can carry. Therefore, 6G will definitely be faster through using ultrahigh frequencies. Actually, we can expect that 6G will eventually reach for extremely upper limits of terahertz ranges.
On the other hand, we can expect the same limitation in 6G which we already face with 5G. That is, 5G is extremely localized due to the inherent limits of millimeter waves. The same problem we can expect in the 6G since the ranges like terahertz (THz) radiation will be around 10 meters. So, it will be too short for a significant 6G coverage. But let’s expect and be positive on it.
When will 6G Comes Out?
2030 is the expected year to launch 6G network to the world. That kind of time will take to run 6G trials and to manufacture phones which are capable of teasing 6G. You may think why we hear about a future technology prior to 10 years. That’s all about marketing strategies to arouse curiosity and make people to find more information by themselves. Of course, it will take more time to launch 6G. As there are frequency bands to debate over, spectrum licenses to purchase and rules to deal with.
As mentioned earlier, 6G is being developed in response to the increasingly distributed Radio Access Network (RAN) and the desire to take advantage of the terahertz spectrum to increase capacity and lower latency. Research and development discussions (R&D) and activities will start in 2020. So, we can hope 6G will eliminate the limitations of 5G. The following clues prove that 6G is now on its early stage.
- The FCC is now working on the first steps of opening up terahertz wave spectrum (frequencies between 95 GHz and 3 THz) and mentions that it will expedite the deployment of new services in the spectrum above 95 GHz.
- The University of Oulu in Finland announced in 2018 that they were going to fund to 6G Flagship program to research materials, antennas, software and more that will be required to launch 6G.
- Virginia Tech, LG and Samsung have begun researching for 6G.
- Just after launching 5G in China, the Ministry of Science and Technology announced that they would be starting 6G research and development soon.
- South Korea’s Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute is conducting research on Terahertz band for 6G and envisions making it 100 times faster than 4G LTE networks and 5 times faster than 5G networks.
- USA is also planning to open 6G frequency and R&D purposes pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for frequencies over 95 gigahertz to 3 THz.
What 6G will look like
6G wireless sensing solutions will use different frequencies to measure absorption and adjust frequencies accordingly. This is possible because, atoms and molecules emit and absorption frequencies are the same for any given substance. And also 6G will have many implications for governments and industry solutions in public safety and critical asset protection. For examples: Threat reduction, health monitoring, feature and facial recognition, decision making, air quality measurements and gas or toxicity sensing.
Need of 6G
We already experience and entertain the accessibility of internet though 5G. But if any possibility is there to expand our wings and explore more the world, we would definitely say yes. And also, there’s a hope that sixth generation cellular wireless communications will integrate a set of technologies like deep learning and big data analytics. Further, a strong relationship has been identified in between future 6G and high-performance computing (HPC). And also the features will support the machine-to-machine communication in the internet of things (IoT). When some of the IoT device data will be handled by edge computing resources, much of it will require processing by more centralized HPC resources. Followings are some capabilities which we can expect in 6G.
- Experiential Networking
- Terabyte per second speed sub-1 terahertz spectrum
- Terahertz signal transmission
- AI core networking
- Microsecond latency
- Short-range communication