What is 6G?
6G (sixth-generation wireless) is the successor to 5G cellular technology, and it is able to use higher frequencies than 5G networks to provide higher capacity in a lower latency.
Which country is the forefront for 6G?
According to report by the BBC News, China has successfully launched “the world’s first 6G satellite” into space back in November 2020.
The technology involves using high-frequency terahertz waves to achieve data-transmission speeds, which are many times faster than what 5G is capable of.
The report also stated that the satellites also carry technology which will be used for crop disaster monitoring and forest fire prevention.
Can Japan and the US lead the way to 6G?
According to the Diplomat, national leaders like Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide and US President Joe Biden find themselves in an unenviable position as fifth-generation (5G) mobile telecommunications networks are being rolled out in their countries.
This will help bolster their economies, however, network operators in their countries have few or no domestic hardware vendors with whom they can do business. As such, they are forced to choose between hardware components made by Chinese companies, viewed by their governments as an unacceptable national security threat, or by European or South Korean firms, which are more costly.
What do 6G promises?
While many of us are still in the dark about what 6G can bring, but estimates have it around 100 times faster than 5G. While many people still cannot correctly predict how fast 6G will be, yet one expert, Dr Mahyar Shirvanimoghaddam from the University of Sydney, claims that 6G could deliver speeds of 1TB per second, or 8,000 gigabits per second.
According to multiple reports, 6G will be quite similar to 5G, but even more so as it provides higher speeds at a lower latency. Researchers and scientists have talked about 6G going beyond a ‘wired’ network, with devices acting as antennas using a decentralised network, not under the control of a single network operator.
Countries that have initiated research into 6G
Besides China, Europe is working to combine research on 6G technology under its 6G Flagship project which is currently centred in the University of Oolu of Finland, according to article by digitaltrends.com.
Furthermore, at the end of 2020, scientists from a partnership between Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and Japan’s Osaka University announced the creation of a chip designed for 6G, using THz waves made with specialised lasers.
Japan has already set aside $482 million to help 6G become widespread in the next few years. This funding will also include building a facility where researchers can develop wireless projects. And finally in the US, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile are leading an industry initiative called the next G Alliance to help further expand 6G research throughout North America.