6G: What you need to know about ultra-high-speed ‘post-5G’ world


  • Big changes are about to happen in tech.
  • Only 30% of the world’s countries currently have access to 5G.
  • The world’s leading nations and tech companies are racing to grab the 6G sweepstakes about to hit the tech world.
  • Research & development focus on standards and services, such as always-on, device-to-device communication and Augmented Reality (AR) interface.

You’ve heard of 3G, 4G and 5G. Each one is a different different generation of wireless network. It’s a continuous progression that can be sometimes too fast to keep track of.

The whole point about it is that each one is so much more powerful than one before it. It ushers in a completely new change in society. So now, as 5G is just getting rolled out across the planet, 6G plans are already underway, possibly providing internet connections to outer space.

Here’s the low-down on 6G:

Does 6G really exist?

On paper, yes. As experimental networks, yes. Though 6G is just a breath away from 5G — but it’s actually a massive jump in functionality, speed and coverage. There’s a flood of innovations, with at least 20,000 patent applications, related to 6G alone. Simply put, though still on trial stages, 6G has a good chance of making 5G a “has-been” in mobile data networking.

What makes it different from 5G?

Theoretically, 6G could supersede the existing networks and help make a completely new type of internet. Using higher-frequency radio bands, 6G promises much faster speeds and lower “latency”.

How much of the world has 5G today?

As of January 2020, commercial 5G networks have been deployed in 378 cities across 34 countries. Another estimate shows that as of February 2021, over 30% of the world’s countries have access to 5G. Some estimates forecast that by 2025 — we’ll reach 3.6 billion 5G connections.

So why is 6G necessary?

Let’s backtrack a bit. The first ever mobile phones were actually Zero G (0G). These were chunky devices with massive boxes for receivers. 1G was the first time the public can make mobile phone calls. 2G was texting (SMS); 3G was SMS and internet on mobile phone; 4G internet access, video and mobile broadband; 5G builds on 4G, plus ultra-HD video and smart devices.

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