5G is certainly having its heyday, and the entire IT ecosystem is still in the midst of 5G densification, use case development, and full-on rollout. It’s no surprise that 5G would garner so much press — as with every new generation cellular technology, it brings a lot of value, innovation, and enhanced capabilities to businesses and users of all kinds. In fact, the influence of 5G is so extensive that by 2030, the economic impact of 5G is expected to reach $227 billion — in the manufacturing industry alone. Take into consideration the huge implications this technology will have on mobile communications, healthcare, government, entertainment, and more, and it’s clear that all the excitement around 5G hasn’t been without good reason. The advantages of this next-generation approach are clear, and it’s not even fully rolled out yet.
So, why are we turning our attention to 6G? Some say we won’t even be seeing 6G in action for around a decade — are we getting ahead of ourselves? Certainly, as digital transformations accelerate and the need to keep up with new technologies grows increasingly acute, it never hurts to plan ahead. As the world watches while the story of 6G begins to unfold, here’s an introduction to the next-next generation to get you started.
What Will the Difference Between 5G and 6G Be?
In essence, 6G is 5G but turned up a notch. Where 5G promised faster speeds, lower latencies, higher bandwidth, better performance and more, 6G promises to do it all one better (and that all has to do with spectrum, which you can learn more about here). Overall, it’s important to note that there are a lot of unknowns about the exact manifestation of 6G, but if we look at recent technological trends, we can take an educated guess at where it will excel.
For instance, in an effort to align our physical world with the digitally enhanced one, we’ve seen AI and XR applications rise in popularity across a host of verticals. This means VR gaming, extended reality visual overlays for doctors in the operating room or personnel on manufacturing floors, and more. It makes sense that once bandwidth increases and speeds get even faster, the applications in this arena will become even more advanced. Some say we’re on the pathway to the metaverse as it stands, so 6G could be instrumental in truly bridging the gap between real-world senses and digital sensory extension.
IoT is another area where 6G could pack a large punch. In a pursuit of autonomous, intelligent everything, 6G might bring network and connectivity enhancements that promote the function of existing smart assets (think healthcare wearables, smart appliances, and the like) while creating opportunities for even more smart ‘things’.
Our imagination is the limit when it comes to where 6G could go, but the more practical question to ask here is how we will build that future from an infrastructure perspective?
What Does the Road to 6G Look Like?
As noted above, it will definitely take a lot of time before networks are capable of handling 6G and ready to support related applications. In the meantime, infrastructure providers will be looking to double down on all the network necessities like security, speed, and reliability. This could be done through a number of different methods, but it will likely involve an assortment of approaches from advanced edge computing to automation, virtualization, and AI. It’s also likely that much of the networking will be accomplished over the internet for maximum mobility and agility.
With this next generation still in its infancy, it’s hard to say exactly what a 6G-capable infrastructure will look like, but it’s safe to say that robust connectivity will remain at the core of all of it. Every application will depend on the very lowest of latencies, the most robust geographic reach and agility, the highest levels of bandwidth, and unwavering reliability and quality. With that said, it’s important that organizations make the best network and connectivity choices as they can today to prepare themselves for the future — that’s where 1623 Farnam and OmahaIX come in.
To learn more about 1623’s connectivity ecosystem, click here.