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6G: As 5G Rollouts Start, Planning for 6G Starts

By Dick Weisinger

5G is slowingly rolling out globally, but it is still a long way from becoming the norm. 5G technology will be 100 times faster than 4G LTE networks and have reduced latency. Applications include awesome home broadband, more efficient factories, better IoT device management and monitoring, and remote healthcare.

But while 5G is rolling out, technology companies and researchers are already discussing the next generation wireless standard, 6G.

Yoshihiro Katagiri, a planning director at Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, said that “with 5G, the things you can do that are beyond 4G are enormous, but 5G still doesn’t quite reach the level that we want to be at. Right now as the world transfers from 4G to 5G, we are looking closely at the technological issues that come up so that we prepare for them in advance next time.”

What will 6G target? It’s not decided yet, after all it’s not expected to begin starting to roll out until 2030, but is expected to enable transmission speeds of 1 terabyte per second.

Is it too early to start thinking about 6G?

Ari Pouttu, professor at the University of Oulu, said that “the industry doesn’t want to talk about 6G because it is diluting their message about 5G and their ability to make money from 5G. We heard a lot of ironic comments about our efforts one year ago, because everyone thought it was too early. And then we heard China was going to launch a 6G program, and then Korea. Now attitudes are changing because no one wants to get left behind.”

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