What is it about 6G that is creating such a buzz across the telco industry? The promise of network upgrades and enhanced features are key drivers.
No sooner than we start to see full 5G stand-alone networks going live, attention is starting to turn to 6G. The ITU and 3GPP are targeting a completed 6G standardization process in 2030, keeping with their 10-year “G” cycle.
We are starting to hear some 6G buzz already, with talk of tera-hertz frequencies and hundreds of Gbps data rates. Though exciting, I believe that the important new proposed capabilities lie elsewhere.
Different network types are suited to different scenarios – satellite, wi-fi, fixed, mobile, cable, etc. Getting these networks to operate seamlessly as one bigger network is something on 6G’s proposed capability list. This would make a real difference to end-user and network device usage.
Improving good quality coverage will enhance the end-user experience of applications. This should be addressed by more symmetric interface speeds (mainly faster up-link speeds compared to 5G) and a multi-path radio (where end-user devices are connected to multiple base stations simultaneously). Ensuring a more symmetric interface helps because many more applications are demanding faster uploads (for example HD video). And multi-path helps because with generally higher data-rate needs for applications, being able to spread the data across multiple radios in areas of poor coverage means the application will still be able to get the needed rate for a great end-user experience.
Finally, enhanced location accuracy should enable many more use cases. 6G proposes to offer centimeter-level location accuracy. This will make it much more useful for industrial use cases in and out of the factory.
Here is a more complete list of proposed 6G capabilities.
6G - What's it all about?
How much will 6G redefine the network game? Can 6G really be that different? Joe Hogan, Network CTO at Amdocs Technology, shares his take on the potential 6G holds for CSPs and consumers alike.