Advancement in technology is inevitable. From how we work, to how we play, to how we live our lives, technology has created a revolution that will continue to grow. As time passes and tech continues to improve, what was the latest and greatest yesterday, is considered old news today.
As wireless communication becomes increasingly essential to our daily lives, the demand for wireless connectivity is escalating at an exponential rate, and technologists and engineers have already turned their attention to its newest incarnation: 6G.
So, what is 6G and what will it look like?
These are the questions everyone has been asking since providers like Samsung, Nokia and Huawei announced the start of their 6G research and development over the past few months. 6G is shorthand for the sixth generation of wireless networks, the successor to 5G cellular technology.
With 5G networks having only very recently rolled out across the world, it might feel a little premature to accurately predict what 6G will look like — after all, it doesn’t exist yet. But there are several early indications as to what advancements we could see.
Here’s what we know so far about 6G technology, and what the future of wireless connectivity might hold.
Faster Download Speeds
Speed will likely be the most notable upgrade, as 6G is expected to see several hundred gigabits per second speeds, or even ranges into the terabytes. To put that into perspective, the current fastest 5G networks download a 90-minute movie in around 60 seconds. 6G download speeds would allow more than 140 hours of movies in that same minute.
Along with the lightning-fast speeds will come improved network reliability. As entire companies and even industries have now moved to working online, faster and more reliable connectivity would improve the evolving needs of our hyper-connected world, meaning no more pixelated video calls or frustration over dropped connections during remote work meetings. At home, a more reliable network would allow for more securely connected devices, far exceeding anything that 5G will offer and putting an end to slow loading times and improving video streaming stability.
This significant upgrade would dramatically increase coverage in places like rural areas, where acquiring high-speed internet has often proven impractical. Broader coverage could see wireless networks spread their service wider, with accessibility extended to boats and ships miles out to sea, commercial flights thousands of feet in the sky, and potentially as far reaching as satellites and space stations outside of the earth’s immediate orbit!
With estimates placing a commercial roll-out around 2028, at the earliest, much of the above is still industry speculation. One thing, though, is for sure – when it finally arrives, 6G will be a connectivity game-changer for all of us.