5th generation vs 6th generation
Modernization of the 5G network is very slow, there are very few smartphones with chips that support it, but development of the next generation is already beginning. Referred to as the 6G network, it can transfer data hundreds of times faster.
The implementation of the sixth generation network is still a long way off. The first test transmitters may be launched in South Korea in 2026. It will probably take another 10 years to commercialize the network. But do we already need 6G? There is no need to rush, because the bandwidth demand will be driven by the 5G network for years to come.
But scientists are already working. An article appeared on the Nature website describing the work on an initial 6G chip developed by a team from Osaka University and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Using this new technology, team managed to bump the theoretical 5G maximum speed to 10 Gbps. Compared to 4G, the 5G network can accelerate several hundred times by increasing the frequency. We jumped from one gigahertz to 300, which corresponds to 300 billion cycles per second. 6G chips should increase it by several hundred times. At the moment, the research team is talking about data transfer rates up to 8000 Gbps, lower latency and higher throughput.
The 6G network will use submillimeter waves (300 GHz to 3 THz), also known as terahertz waves. Their production and transmission is currently very complex and expensive. This requires special lasers, and even then, the frequency range is limited.
So is there a need in 6g at all? Scientists talk about the needs for artificial intelligence, autonomous cars, large data centers, etc. According to the report of the Japanese company NTTDoCoMo, we will see the first 6G communications in 2030. By then, there may be a real need for that bandwidth.