June 4, 2023

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What is 6G? How does it compare to 5G?

6 min read

5G isn’t mainstream yet, especially in developing countries, but you may already have a peek at how 6G will strengthen its predecessor. This is not surprising in the tech industry, as telecom giants are always looking for technology that will help future generations.

Everything we know about 6G is theoretical, but it will certainly be an extension of existing 5G networks.

6G has the potential to take cutting-edge technologies such as AI, robotics and automation to new dimensions. Let’s see the difference from 5G.

Evolution of cellular networks (from 0G to 6G)

NS First wireless transmission The Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi used radio waves to wirelessly transmit Morse code over 3.4 km. Almost a century later, in 1973, the first wireless mobile phone, called the 0G mobile phone, was demonstrated. This was a crucial moment for wireless communication.

Immediately after the invention by Motorola engineer Martin Cooper, telecommunications companies began developing first-generation “1G” mobile networks. With a bandwidth of 30kHz and a speed of 2.4Kbps, only voice calls were possible. 1G had poor voice quality and limited capacity, but was in use until 1991.

Mobile network name on the matrix
ADMC /Pinterest

Leaving 1G, 2G mobile phones hit the market in the 1990s, allowing users to send SMS and email, and browse the Internet at low speed. It provided bandwidth from 30kHz to 200kHz. With continuous progress, the speed has increased to 384Kbps.

Since then, advances in wireless technology have snowballed, with new generations every decade. 3G extends 2G, making video calls and Internet-based applications easier than 50 times faster. After that, 4G arrived with lower delay and HD video, 50-500 times faster than 3G.

Currently, there is 5G with a peak speed of 20 Gbps, Qualcomm 5G claims to help integrate IoT, automation, and extreme reality (XR). Ultimately, 6G outperforms 5G, enabling unthinkable technological feats. Now let’s take a closer look at what 6G is and the potential benefits it offers.

Related: Are you confused about 5G? Here’s what you need to know about 5G coverage:

What is 6G?

6G will emerge as the sixth generation of wireless communications, following 5G wireless technology, which is not yet utilized in many countries. 6G uses very high frequency (THF) waves, also known as submillimeter waves, to achieve 100 times the speed of 5G using millimeter waves (mmWave).

With 6G enabled, bandwidth is expected to increase to accommodate extended connections and delays are expected to be less than 1 microsecond. In other words, this next-generation technology is set to bridge the gap between digital and the real world.

At the Samsung Networks: Redefined event, Samsung has already made significant strides in its roadmap for hyper-connected experiences over 6G by achieving 50x faster and 1 / 10th the delay of 5G. Stated.

6G opens new horizon

Wi-Fi icon photo

In addition to its immeasurable speed and microsecond delay, 6G is expected to be reliable, support the processing of vast amounts of real-time data, and facilitate the manipulation of big data.

It is the product of integrated advances in wireless communications and other technologies such as sensing, imaging, displays and AI. Apart from autonomous technology optimization, these are some of the potential advances that next-generation terahertz radio technology can bring.

Immersive Extended Reality (XR)

Extended reality (XR) is a term that encapsulates virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). XR opens new doors in a variety of areas, including entertainment, medicine, science, education, and manufacturing.

This concept became popular when 5G came out, but due to current hardware limitations and lack of wireless capabilities, 5G will no longer be able to support the XR. This is where 6G fills the gap. The relevant hardware is expected to be available by the time 6G is deployed, and the combination of both will enable the XR.

Mobile hologram

Advances in high-resolution rendering, wearable displays, and ultra-fast wireless networks will enable holograms to be displayed on mobile devices. Holographic displays require the high-speed data transfer provided by 6G.

Given the above, you may be wondering how realistic this technology really feels. I’m not sure yet, but I think it’s similar to what Google showed in its new initiative, Project Starline. Google I / O Keynote 2021..

Looking at this, holograms on 6.7-inch display mobile devices require a speed of 580 Gbps, which is only possible with 6G. To make this possible, advances in AI can prove to be useful in compressing, extracting, and rendering holographic data.

Digital replica

A digital replica is a virtual copy of a real physical entity that acts as a real-time digital twin. Digital twins allow users to observe, monitor, and explore real entities in a virtual environment without spatial and temporal constraints.

The combination of the XR and the holographic display allows users to go beyond observation and interact with the twins mentioned above. The integration of robotics and digital replication allows users to physically move their robots in the real world by virtually controlling their digital twins.

Given the very novel nature of this technology, it’s hard to explain everything, but digital replication will pave the way for breakthroughs in many areas.

What challenges does 6G need to overcome?

6G changes the way we recognize information, communicate with people and machines, and experience life. To do more than that, we need to significantly improve the hardware and computing capabilities of mobile phones and enhance network performance compared to 5G.

The biggest challenge for 6G is to combat terahertz wave atmospheric absorption and severe path loss. Today’s 5G networks are also facing this problem. Users have reported that the signal is lost if blocked by trees or buildings.

SamsungThe 6G white paper in 6G describes some “candidate” technologies that may solve this problem. These technologies include mesh-type network topologies, spectrum sharing, comprehensive AI, and other new technologies.

6G and sustainability

Sustainable progress is crucial as climate change is becoming an increasingly complex global problem. Fortunately, there is some good news.by World Economic ForumDigital technologies, including 5G, have the potential to reduce global emissions by 15% by 2020. In addition, by improving efficiency and sustainability standards, 6G will meet higher goals.

6G is expected to play a major role in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Virtualization enables the sustainable production and consumption of energy resources. Access to the hyper-connectivity and information provided by 6G will improve living standards around the world.

6G: A true science fiction future to be realized?

6G is, in most cases, still an undeveloped territory and for good reason. Sure, there are many challenges to overcome and they won’t happen soon, but the benefits they offer are too revolutionary to talk about.

6G adds a whole new dimension to existing new technologies such as cloud gaming, cloud storage, VR and AR. More importantly, we will be a pioneer in new technologies such as XR, holographic displays and digital replication. This is an unavoidable step in the future of wireless technology.

Young man holding an iPhone in front of a desk

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