6G could be 8,000 times faster than 5G with speeds up to 1TB per second
We are yet to get 5G but China has already taken a step forward and is looking at 6G. The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology has reportedly launched preparatory work for the "development of the future network".
Reports have it that the foundations for 6G have already been laid and according to some experts, 6G speeds could reach 1 terabyte (TB) per second - that's 8,000 times faster than 5G.
China has reportedly set up two working groups to oversee research around 6G, one of which is made up of executives from the sector ministries. This group is responsible for supporting the second group that is made up of 37 experts from universities, research institutes and technology companies.
In theory, at least, 6G networks could offer speeds of 1TB/ second or 1,000 gigabytes or 8,000 gigabits per second. Speeds like these would facilitate new types of uses and revolutionise technology. According to a professor from the University of Sydney, Dr Mahyar Shirvanimoghaddam, the 6G era could, for example, "offer new perspectives in terms of brain-computer interfaces" and make it possible to "use devices via our brain".
In terms of regular use, here's an example you will be able to understand better. Broadcasting Netflix in the highest definition requires 56 gigabits of data per hour. With 6G you will be able to download over 142 hours of high-quality content every second.
However, let's not get excited already. Researchers still have to remove significant obstacles to achieve 6G. According to Shirvanimoghaddam, these 6G speeds would need significant improvements in "materials science, computer architecture, chip design and energy use (…) We must think about sustainable ways to supply all these devices without the risk of burning the Earth".
5G is still in its infancy and work on 6G has already begun - while this seems far too early, it would be good to remember that it took about 10 years to develop a new generation network. The first steps of 6G are in plans for 2030, so starting now makes sense. And China is not the only country prepping for 6G, Japan is in the race too.