WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
As countries vie for leadership in 5G some countries are already eyeing leadership in 6G.
The race for leadership in the 5G world might still be in its early stages but China, alongside the UK who started work on a new 6G standard back in 2015, is already making moves to become a pioneer in future 6G networks that will leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) and quantum mechanics to operate at terabit, not gigabit, speeds. Su Xin, head of a 5G technology working group at China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, last week announced that teams in Beijing started working on a new 6G standard late last year, but that he doesn’t expect the first commercial 6G networks to be ready before 2030.
He also told the China Securities Journal that 6G would be the “G to end all G’s” because he expected several different technologies to support wireless communications and therefore future advances “would be iterative rather than generational.” However, it’s also worth noting that similar claims were made about 5G in the early days.
“5G has three main application scenarios – large bandwidth, low latency, and wide connection – I think 6G can achieve better application in all three scenarios,” he said, also suggesting that 6G speeds could reach up to 1Tbps in the real world.
China is expected to be one of the leaders in 5G networks thanks to strong government support, the presence of major vendors like Huawei, and because mobile operators need the additional capacity to cope with explosive demand for mobile data, but what will eventually constitute 6G has still yet to be debated though, never mind realised, and elsewhere in Finland the €251 million 6Genesis Project is also researching the future wireless communications technologies, as you can see in the above video, that will eventually supersede 5G.
Meanwhile back in China the leaders of the project said recently that “6G would fulfil the capacity and latency promise of 5G by delivering the architectural shifts required and through the use of AI.” So, as we see yet again, the march of technological progress seemingly knows no limits and continues faster than ever before.