And 4G and 4G LTE are not even available in all parts of the world, yet as of the moment, there are companies that have begun rolling out 5G trials. It only signals that 5G may arrive sooner than the expected year of its availability in 2020.
But wait… even as 5G is not yet available, there are even talks of the next, next generation called (what else) 6G.
Research groups are exploring the terahertz-based 6G wireless network which is expected to be available for commercial use in about 10 years. Simply put, “6G” is a wireless technology that is beyond “5G,” which is currently in the works now. While no one has launched a 5G network yet, researchers and technologists in some parts of the world have already begun to predict the existence of 6G.
Early in 2018, the Academy of Finland announced the financing of “6Genesis,” which is an eight-year research program devoted to conceptualizing 6G under the patronage of the Centre for Wireless Communications from the University of Oulu. Oulu, a city in northern Finalnd, is a major hub in the development of 5G, with a number of 5G startups that were reported in 2017.
In the program’s paper, it stated about the emergence of a new mobile generation will appear in every 10 years, and therefore the 6G is expected to roll out around 2030 to meet all expectations that 5G will never be able to satisfy, “as well as new ones to be defined at a later stage.” So why is 5G will never be able to keep up with the fast-paced digital world? Although 5G has yet to be launched, it is becoming apparent that 5G’s data rates will not be able to satisfy the increasing demands for data among the tech-savvy populace – private users and industries alike – for long.
Another research group, the EU-funded Terranova, is working on the possible coming of the 6G. The aim of this research is to allow a network connection in the terahertz range, which is so fast and stable that it can transmit data with speeds reaching up to 400 gigabits per second (Gb/s)
These 6G study teams will be focused on exploring technologies that may not be happening anytime soon, but that will progress what the industry will do with 5G. Taking the terahertz radio frequencies – 5G will push cellular radios up to several gigahertz frequencies (millimeter wave). So it won’t be a surprise that 6Genesis will push for even more.
The group also sees into presenting recommendations for the AI-enabled world that is highly dependent on high speed. They believe that due to the changes of the society as a result of technological advances and digitization of services, these changes call for new business measures as well as incentives apart from regulation and legislation in the telecommunications sector.
On the other side of the globe, China has made yet another ambitious move in a bid to become the global leader of the next-generation telecom technology. In November 2019, the country has announced that it has started its research and development on 6G telecom service. This announcement came only days after the country’s top three telcos — China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom — rolled out 5G mobile services nationwide.
The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, which made the announcement, sees itself working with several relevant departments to launch a plan for 6G development. It will also work towards advancements regarding its basic theories, key technologies and standards.
For now though, most companies are probably concentrated on the 5G so they will leave the early conceptualizing of 6G to the experts.