6G: All information about the 5G successor

You thought 5G would be fast? With 6G there are completely different possibilities: Up to 1 terrabit per second.

While many iPhone or Android owners still want good network coverage from 5G reception, there are more and more details about the declared successor 6G. As with the jump from 4G to 5G, this standard promises a higher data rate: up to 400 gigabits per second should be possible, Chinese researchers even believe that up to 1 Tbit / s is possible. That is around 125,000 MB (125 GB) per second – the specification of 5G, on the other hand, has a limit of 10 Gbit / s and currently a maximum of only 1 Gbit / s is achieved. The new technology should offer further improvements: Among other things, the latency should be significantly improved, which is important for time-critical tasks.

First breakthrough

For the first time, the LG Electronics Group has achieved an initial success in development: In cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute, the successful transmission of data in the terahertz range was achieved on August 19, 2021. Obviously, increasing the power was the biggest technical challenge of the project, as the short range is a problem in the terahertz range. A stable signal power of up to 15 dBm was achieved during the presentation in the frequency range between 155 and 175 GHz. The jointly developed amplifier was able to send and receive data over a distance of a hundred meters, and functions such as beamforming were also demonstrated.

LG and the Fraunhofer Institute achieved their first breakthrough


LG and the Fraunhofer Institute achieved their first breakthrough

That should make 6G possible

For many, 5G is probably fast enough for the time being. The increased new capabilities are also less thought of for web surfing or retrieving YouTube videos, they should enable completely new applications. According to initial concepts, this includes, for example, the successor technologies of Virtual Reality and Augemented Reality with completely new virtual worlds – referred to by some developers with the new term XR. 6G would also make completely new collaboration options possible – for example a doctor who performs an operation remotely. But “telepresence”, meetings with virtual conversation partners should also be possible, health monitoring via AI and much more. In contrast to 5G, 6G should only be based on the needs of consumers, such as those of smartphone users. For technical reasons, too, networks with a short range or a public space in cities are more likely to be used, as with 5G, this also includes deployments in the iOT area – for example in logistics and industry.

Standardization and developer

The first 6G Wireless Summit took place in Finland in 2019, probably not by chance in this country: Nokia is one of the leading developers and founded the Hexa-X development project with 21 other companies. Ericsson is responsible for technical management, including network operators such as Telefónica and Orange, but also Atos, Siemens, Intel and, last but not least, Apple. Huawei is missing, but with the China Mobile Research Institute, China is not left out either. The 6G standard, which is to be determined by a working group of the Next G Alliance, is planned by 2025. A market launch is not even expected until 2030. Until then, however, the short range will lead to many problems, not least in the area of ​​network operators and regulatory requirements. The energy consumption and the heat development of the components are also still pending hurdles.

What the implementation of 6G will look like has not yet been determined, for example Huawei, which is known for its advanced 5G technology, is rather critical here. According to an investor conference, the company seems more likely to be working on an expansion of its existing 5G technology, called 5.5G. A separate whitepaper on the subject of 6G was also announced. The state of China has also been researching 6G since 2019, and in November 2020 the world power sent a first test satellite into orbit, which will test 6G technology, among other things. Not to be forgotten: In April 2021, the federal government also started a research initiative. As we have already reported, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research will provide a total of 700 million euros by 2025. And with Thinknet 6G there is another funding project from the Bavarian government.

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