6G: It seems like only yesterday that 5G technology stormed the gates of the U.S., South Korea, and China. And these big shots are far from finished.
Experts maintain that we should see 6G technology around 2030, roughly on track with the developments of 3G (2003), 4G (2010), and 5G (2019).
But what’s the difference between 5G and 6G technology? Why’s it going to take 10 years? What even is a G?
The “g” in 6G stands for generation. Pre-3G, we had 2G, the system to support sending text and SMS messages. Then, more users created high demand for strong signals.
Plus, we just had to check emails and access the Internet on our phones.
Like with 3G, 4G was born out of the need for more. 4G focused heavily on upping Internet speed for faster downloads and streaming. Like 4G, 5G centers on even faster Internet speed. And while 5G continues to span to the rest of the world, 6G will be hot on its tail.
With the growing popularity of facial recognition, smart devices, formally known as the Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI), it makes sense that one day we’ll need something even stronger.
In November of 2019, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced it formed two (2) teams to research 6G, one team of government departments, and another of university, science, and corporate advisors.
Along with MIIT, the South Korea Communications Research Institute, University of Oulu, Finland, and the U.S. are cracking down.
We need to get one thing straight:
- 6G technology is in the research stage.
- It’s in the stage when you haven’t even opened the computer to write the essay. The essay is still in your mind, but it’s in like, bubbles — “5G, AI, the Internet of Things.. but more than that..”.
- Then, after 6G is outlined, it needs to be manufactured and distributed globally, and devices need to be released to pair up.
- Outside of AI, download speeds are anticipated to soar, nearing 1 terabit per second. Latency is expected to decrease as well.
So far, scientists anticipate the development of 6G and the different ways it absorbs frequencies. This means a lot for the public health, safety, and technology sectors, as they’ll be able to do so much more.
- security and threat detection
- health screens
- air and gas quality testing
- social credit and government systems
In January 2020, Japan’s NTT Docomo Inc. published 5G Evolution and 6G to explore a world of 6G technology. The text explores the concept of every space as a communication center, as opposed to the placement of fiber cables above- and below-sea level areas to send signals.
This included a tight physical space between devices to optimize transfer, even suggesting “wearable devices, or technology mounted on the human body”.
Another way we see this going is through automated functions in cars, with a goal of a completely self-driving buggy. However, the machine would have to contain location and sensory features capable of creating a pattern, and then abandoning it with a change in geography.
There is talk of cities implementing such technology into making streets and traffic lights safer by coordinating them with cars self-driving as well.
The Latest & Greatest
As a reminder, we have no control over the various “g’s” that our phones run on.
One thing to know about 4G and its descendants is that the signal strength received by your device is directly affected by your proximity to the cell network tower.
So, while developers work hard to build 5G and 6G networks to support extremely strong signals, those strong signals are still likely to be interrupted by distance and range from the tower.
As of now, metropolitan areas contain stronger signals because they have to support more devices, compared to less populated areas. This is why you may see a drop in cell signal when you leave city areas.
Do we need it?
You might wonder if we really need 6G. 5G is barely out. This is one of those times when it’s important to take a step back.
3G grew from a need to check emails and access the Internet on mobile devices. Imagine a world where you couldn’t even get online. These technologies are designed to make our worlds easier, more convenient, to the point where we can’t imagine a world without them.
5G is the same way. It supports the stress put on 4G to fulfill our needs. Each generation is designed with faster, more efficient performance.
The technologies blowing up with 5G will solidify themselves with 6G. So don’t go out buying that early 5G enabled smartphone just yet. Things are bound to get better.
For more technology Updates visit Aware earth – Technology.