With 5G still being rolled out worldwide, the telecom industry’s sights are already set on the next step – 6G mobile internet. 6G refers to the next standard for mobile data transfer. Just as 5G networks are faster and more powerful than 4G, 6G connections promise to herald a new era of mobile connectivity.
Just how much faster will 6G be than 5G? When will 6G internet be available? Which countries will be the first to get 6G? While much is still unclear about the developing technology, here’s what we know so far about the 6G rollout.
What is 6G?
Right now, 6G is just a set of ideas. Mobile technology is divided into bands based on its speed, technology and capabilities. From 1G, which just carried voice calls, to 2G messaging and 3G mobile internet – as technology develops universal standards for each band are established.
The 5G standard has only recently been introduced, and so discussions of 6G technology at the moment are centred more around its potential than current developments.
How fast will 6G internet be?
6G networks will use more powerful equipment and a greater range of transmission frequencies, including Extreme High Frequency (EFH) ranges at short distances. While the best 5G speeds currently top out at a few Gbps, 6G connections are expected to offer downloads at up to 1 Tbps, with most users getting speeds of around 100 Gbps.
With many users’ day-to-day mobile capacity increasing by a factor of 100, the door will be open to new and more powerful forms of telecommunication hardware and applications.
When will it be rolled out?
Based on the last forty years of advancement we’d expect to see 6G networks and compatible hardware to be introduced in the 2030s.
Research into improving mobile connectivity is constantly underway. Just last year the UK government invested £110 million pounds into 5G and 6G research and development.
Which countries will get 6G first?
The first 6G networks and compatible devices will almost certainly be launched in a country with major investments in smartphone technology and data infrastructure.
The first 5G devices were launched almost simultaneously in the US and South Korea by Verizon and Samsung respectively, and they remain two of the top contenders for being the first to roll out 6G technology.
However, other teams across the world are battling with the 6G problem right now and may beat one of the raining champions to the punch. The University of Oulu, Finland is home to the €251m ‘6Genesis’ project, the world’s flagship research program into 6G technology. Meanwhile, China successfully launched the world’s first 6G satellite in 2020.
While the arrival of the 6G standard is not yet imminent, the leaps and bounds being made in wireless communication technology are exciting in and of themselves. I won’t be saving up for a new 6G handset just yet, but as Utility Experts we’ll have a keen eye on developments in telecommunication technology and new opportunities to help get people connected around the world.
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