Everyone is curious about the next generation of mobile technology. This month 6G made headlines in the press because China is already working on it. The implication is that Europe and the US are possibly falling behind. However the big picture is not just about ‘6G’ but about investments in new mobile technologies which are happening all over the world.
6G does not exist yet and it is not a technology in itself but a standard that will implement certain mobile technologies. It will take probably around ten years before 6G is officially defined. Until then we will be guessing about which wireless developments will be included in 6G.
For the transition from 4G to 5G multiple technologies that lowered latency (the delay between sender and receiver) and increased speed were implemented. For more information read our article about 5G mobile technology.
The choice for any technology included in 6G remains uncertain for now but engineers are already working towards various technologies. For example in Germany work is done on more modern modulators to link future mobile receivers to a fiber optic back-end. An improved MIMO transmission technique will also be required to process the new mobile streams simultaneously in the bass stations which various academic centers have been researching for years.
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Why are we already discussing 6G?
In the news this month was that China is already working on the development of the new future 6G standard. What that actually means is that the Chinese government is investing in the search for communication techniques that make it possible to lift mobile technology to a higher level. The European Union funded similar research into applications that could form part of 5G at a time when 4G still had to be rolled out.
However it is far fetched to say that China will be leading the race whilst there is no race. The 6G technology will be developed with the help of international providers, network companies, academics, governments and other organisations and the final standard is set by an international institute with representatives from Europe, Asia and North America.
It is difficult to forecast at the moment what 6G is going to look like. Some say it will revolutionise the way we use our mobile phones and mobile data. Others say it will just be a faster version to carry the larger amounts of data we will be using or to support the larger and more sophisticated applications and screen quality.
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