You might be thinking “6G?! But 5G isn’t even available everywhere yet!”, and yes, that is true. However, 6G is already in the pipelines and being successfully researched by many countries around the world. The big question is, how will 6G differ from 5G?
How fast will 6G be?
Due to 6G still being in the early research phases, there is no concrete answer to this as of yet. Some early signs are that it could reach speeds of around 1TB per second, which is incredibly fast. To put this into perspective, 5G currently runs at around 100-200Mbps per second; therefore 6G could be up to 1000 times faster. The technology itself is thought to be more akin to an upgrade to 5G, rather than a whole new infrastructure.
What could this be used for?
There are high hopes for the impact 6G could have due to the speeds, low latency and impressive bandwidth that it’s anticipated to bring. We are already expecting great things to come from the release of 5G such as improving autonomous driving and augmented reality/virtual reality. 6G is set to improve current tech available via 5G, meaning almost sci-fi like advancements could potentially be made.
Similar to what is often seen in futuristic films, holograms could become a reality, perhaps as alternatives for video calls or to replace smartphones altogether. Streaming could become seamless with instant loading times and no buffering, even for 4K quality footage. Self-driving cars could become even more connected, communicating road conditions or traffic to each other in real-time, or even talking to each other to improve safety.
The University of Oulu in Finland is working on 6G technology and created this video to demonstrate how it could change our lives.
When will it be available?
Previous generations of mobile connectivity have taken around 10 years to be developed and rolled out. With 5G just becoming more prevalent, 6G will likely start to be introduced around 2030. This could be even earlier in some countries that already have good 5G coverage, such as some countries in Asia. 2030 might be when we start to see phones and devices capable of using 6G technology being unveiled, which isn’t too far away!
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