Table of Contents
    Definitions 3 min read

    6G is the acting name that refers to what will be the sixth generation of cellular technology. Current 6G theoretical discussions focus on growing the capabilities and lowering the latency of the wireless and edge networks that came with 5G. As of now, 6G is still in the early research phase, as many technology companies are still working through implementing the 5G infrastructure.

    Portions of this definition originally appeared on Enterprise Networking Planet and are excerpted here with permission.

    What is the significance of 6G?

    While 6G is still in the early research phase, some early predictions indicate that it could be as much as 1,000 times faster than 5G, which has significant implications for areas of capacity and speed for data processing.

    Some examples of how 6G’s predicted bandwidth could expand existing technological realities include:

    • Closer to real-time, human-like data processing allows for more immersive and precise operations and enables more advanced technologies and robotic procedures in industrial use cases.
    • Negligible lag between queries and data processing needs will enable true-to-form digital and holographic imagery and XR (extended reality).
    • “Mind computing” technologies will become possible, allowing humans to have small, powerful technology devices installed on their bodies for technology-to-brain connections.
    • Digital sensory experiences are expected to feel like real life using the speeds available in 6G.

    Explore What to Expect from a 6G Future at Enterprise Networking Planet.

    How are 6G and 5G different?

    During its introduction in the late 2021s and early 2020s, 5G moved beyond cloud networks and computing into edge networks, devices, and computing. This growth, a giant leap ahead of its 4G predecessor, increased overall network speeds, decreased latency, and led to more widespread network access. It also encouraged widespread corporate and personal use of smart and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

    Although it’ll likely have a similar general infrastructure, 6G hopes to offer more speed, accuracy, and ubiquity compared to 5G. With 6G’s expected levels of speed and data processing capabilities, many experts believe that more immersive technologies will be possible and will operate in what feels like real time.

    When will 6G be available?

    While there is no specific timeline for 6G as of yet, predictions based on previous generations of cellular technologies point toward approximately 2030, or around 10 years between the early research phase and widespread access.

    For the time being, companies and governments around the world will continue to build the massive infrastructural changes needed to fully implement 5G. This infrastructure will set the stage for and simplify the rollout process for 6G when it is ready to launch.