It might feel like 5G has only just arrived, or in some cases is still overdue to arrive, however, the Telecoms industry is rushing ahead to look at what, how, and when 6G will be taking over our airwaves.
Since the start of this year, news around 6G has been growing and spreading throughout the tech world. It launched into large media gossip after the ambitious pledge from the Indian Prime Minister stating he would bring 6G to his country by the end of this decade - 2030.
With that announcement, a rush from the rest of the world to make statements on their 6G promises, research, and developments has been in no short supply. Germany launched a 6G initiative, the EU invested in 6G research, network operators in New Zealand signed a strategic partnership to advance 5G and 6G and the UK built research labs and invested in R&D for 5G & 6G.
But the question looms, are we ready for 6G?
Vodafone has recently announced that it will be switching off its 3G networks, allowing a focus on expanding its 4G and 5G networks. This follows a similar plan from BT and EE to retire its 3G network and grow it's core 5G network off the back of this shutdown. The UK as a whole has an average of 95% coverage for 4G, with most networks quoting upward of this mark. 5G however, is a different story. Some networks state 50% UK Coverage, whereas others give different figures like "up to 500 towns and cities covered". Regardless, there is clearly a large amount of work to get the coverage of 5G up to scale with 4G.
So what, how, and when is 6G?
6G is the 6th Generation of Wireless connectivity and will be the successor to 5G. As with previous new generations, 6G will use higher frequencies, provide faster download & upload speeds with lower latency and packet loss. Hypothetically, 6G should be 100x faster than 5G, meaning we could be looking at speeds of 1000GB per second, or in other words, 1TB per second downloads.
On top of this, it is expected that there will be a greater focus on sustainability, not only within the network but also through the technologies 6G hopes to enable. Technologies like driverless and connected electric vehicles, smart transportation, an overhaul of IoT services, and true use of virtual and augmented reality.
It is still a little too early to know exactly how 6G will be achieved and the key technologies involved in it however it's become apparent that 6G will be taking advantage of everything that millimeter wave (mmWave) technology has to offer while working with intelligent software-defined networking.
What does that leave? When. "When" is a difficult question as there are always unforeseen delays and decisions that need to be made. It's worth remembering that 5G was officially launched in the UK in the Summer of 2019, however over 2 years later and 4G is still relied on and used more than 5G. So while we may have a first look at 6G in 2030, it's unlikely that you and I will be sitting here in 2030 reading this blog while connected to 6G mobile data...though hopefully, we will all be on 5G by then!
With all this research and development into new technology on the horizon, there's no better time to start a telecoms business than now so you can start selling and using these technologies as soon as they're released! Get in contact today with our sales teams to have a chat about how we can help you start a telecoms business today!