5G has become a battleground not only for smartphone manufacturers, but also for governments. However, now that the technology has been established, the focus is shifting to what comes next – 6G.
What exactly is 6G?
According to Wikipedia, 6G is the sixth generation standard currently under development for wireless communications technologies supporting cellular data networks. It is the planned successor to 5G and will likely be significantly faster.
A peak data rate of 1 Tbps (1,000 times the bandwidth of a typical Ethernet port) and latency of less than 100 s are some of the performance requirements (one 10,000th of a second). In comparison to 5G, 6G aims to deliver 50 times higher peak data rates while reducing latency by a factor of ten.
Below is a chart from Samsung that compares 5G (light blue) and the targets for 6G (blue):
As we mentioned, it’s not just the company, the South Korean government has a key interest in being a major player in the next era of mobile networks. The Presidential Transition Committee said:
“When it comes to future economic growth drivers, the current government is focusing on non-memory chip, future car and biotech and healthcare. The new government is planning to add 6G communications, secondary battery, display, defense and aerospace, advanced nuclear power plant and digital content.”
The goal is to have 6G prototypes ready in 2026, so that the technology can be ready for commercialization in the late 2020s or early 2030s. The government wants it done as soon as possible.
There is still a lot of work to be done, but things appear to be moving quickly. Samsung demonstrated a 15m transmission last year. LG improved on this and was able to beam a signal 100 meters between buildings. Both used signals at or above 100 GHz, which is significantly higher than the current mmWave implementations.