Is 6G a pipe dream or a distant reality? | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 25, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:30 AM, February 25, 2019

Is 6G a pipe dream or a distant reality?

Now that Samsung is out of the gates with their 5G enabled Samsung S10, MWC is sure to be the grand stage for 5G. After months of teasing, this will be 5G's first main mark on the world stage. But before 5G could even make its mark, 6G has already entered the conversation, a conversation sparked by the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump.

Say what you will about the man, his urgency and agenda is pretty clear. Donald Trump's America is going to enter into trade talks next week with China and US policymakers fear that they will have to play catch up with China in the future in regards to the growth and implementation of 5G technology. But setting aside Trump's agendas and concerns, for now, let's try to assess what 6G actually means.

Unfortunately for us, 6G doesn't actually have a meaning yet, nor is there any framework to rely on currently. So, what is 5G? It's the fifth generation of mobile wireless technology and its coverage is growing the fastest in China, and with companies like Huawei and ZTE at the helm of 5G's growth, it's no wonder that 5G is China is growing so fast. However, this new technology requires five times the amount of network infrastructure compared to 4G. So, 6G will be the sixth generation of mobile wireless technology and will require more infrastructure than companies have planned for yet. But some companies have already started the conversation, namely, what Qualcomm and Huawei have had to say about the technology of the unforeseeable future.

Out of all major players, it would seem as if Qualcomm would be the true burden bearers of the American President's tweet. But Qualcomm has already come on record stating that the company has already started thinking about 6G. Huawei too has made claims that they will be focusing on 6G heavily once they roll out their 5G enabled smartphones.

But that's still many years away and as companies and Telco brands only start implementing infrastructural changes in order to accommodate for 5G, researchers in Finland are on route to begin testing on 6G with the tagline “Vision 2030” backing up their ambitious project.

But as ambitious as the tagline may be, given the current trajectory of 5G and China's dominance in its implementation, 6G may well see the light of day courtesy of Chinese technology, something that Donald Trump is aware of.

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