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Exploring today's technology for tomorrow's possibilities
Expansion of Next-Gen 6G

The Expansion of Next-Gen 6G Wireless Technology

Jamie Finch
It wasn’t so long ago that the thought of going online anywhere with wireless technology would have seemed like science fiction. However, not only has the technology arrived, it’s also developed into an essential tool for businesses and people globally.
The fifth-generation wireless technology (5G) currently standard offers high-speed, stable connections that help you work productively. However, in our attempts to continually develop our technology, the arrival of sixth-generation wireless technology (6G) is on the horizon.
If you’re wondering “what is 6G?” and how it will benefit you, read on for more information.

Key differences between 6G and 5G

Perhaps the main difference between 5G and 6G is that 6G uses higher-frequency radio signals. High-frequency signals are “smaller” than lower frequencies, and more information can be packed into data packets. Taking this approach can help make 6G hundreds of times faster than its predecessor.
The overall infrastructure of 6G networks will likely look different from 5G counterparts. For example, instead of relying on array masts, 6G can also use consumers’ devices to help spread coverage further.

Potential benefits of 6G technology

Potential benefits of 6G technology
Future 6G technology will offer numerous benefits over 5G, including:

Mesh networking

Most 5G devices will receive and send signals directly from a tower, but 6G will also offer mesh networking capabilities. Mesh networking means you can get connected through other nearby devices owned by third parties.
In other words, if you are sitting close to somebody connected to the 6G network, you can also get connected using their device as a hotspot. Hotspots are not a new concept and are available on 5G devices. However, 6G will let us develop the technology further to provide comprehensive network coverage.
Researchers hope that a combination of mesh networks and high radio frequencies will provide comprehensive global coverage. This would mean you could call somebody if lost in the wilderness regardless of your distance from the nearest 6G array.

Express IPs

The current Internet Protocol (IP) service was developed in the 70s and is still used as a standard today, but 6G may change this. Papers from the project suggest that 6G could use its own version of IP, potentially making the current version obsolete. This new service would be faster than the traditional IP service, making it an express email service compared to IP. The new version will likely exist alongside the old version as the new technology is phased in.

Enhanced reliability

Losing a signal when you’re working through a project can be very frustrating, but 6G may provide a much more reliable connection. This is partly down to mesh networking because it's easier to find a suitable connection. By significantly decreasing error rates and boosting connection reliability, 6G will optimise interactions from machine to machine (M2M).

Leveraging AI and ML

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are relatively new developments that are helping to transform how we work and play. As the technology develops, it will need increasingly fast internet speeds, which 6G will provide.
Not only can AI help automate and streamline your working processes, but it can also be used to enhance the 6G service. For example, the technology can help locate the best signal and automatically connect, ensuring a fast and reliable connection.

Potential applications

Future 6G will be more than just a faster version of 5G. The service will also provide additional functionality letting us use internet technology in new, innovative ways. Some of the most likely applications for 6G include:


The Internet of Things (IoT) can benefit from 6G, making it accessible and useful for more people. The IoT is a term given to the connection of devices over the internet, such as refrigerators. Smart fridges will know when a particular product is running low and automatically order more over the internet. When integrated with AI and ML, the IoT can even learn your preferences, meaning you are always stocked with your favourite foods and household items.

Autonomous vehicles

Autonomous vehicles are already on our roads, being thoroughly tested before rolling out the technology to the general public. As such, it may not be long before driverless cars take you to your destination quickly and safely.
For autonomous vehicles to be safe, they need to have excellent situational awareness. The computers driving the vehicles need to know which vehicles are around them, how fast they are going, and so on. Not only will this help to prevent collisions, but overall situation awareness may also help you take a more efficient route, decreasing journey time.
The computing power and bandwidth required for such an achievement is enormous. Processors will need to send, receive and interpret data coming from multiple other vehicles on the road and use this to define a safe and clear route. The power of 6G will be instrumental in helping autonomous vehicles become a common sight on our roads.

Big data analytics

Big data analytics involves using vast volumes of data and extracting useful information to help you make the right decisions. Faster internet speeds will help you gather more data, making your analytics more accurate.
One of the biggest challenges facing big data analysts is obtaining valuable data, especially considering internet privacy laws. However, as 6G offers more functionality, more consumers will use it for a wider variety of needs. 6G will help boost the functionality of websites and other online assets, meaning more people use the technology. As such, you will have more opportunities to gather data, revealing deep, accurate insights.

The Metaverse

The Metaverse is under development by Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg. The project has the potential to transform how we live and work once complete, creating a virtual world where we can meet and play with people from around the globe.
Again, processing power and bandwidths are issues the Metaverse will need to overcome, and the project may struggle to achieve all it can with the latest internet technology. Fortunately, 6G will provide fast enough data transfer speeds for the Metaverse to meet its full potential.

What are the biggest obstacles 6G faces?

What are the biggest obstacles 6G faces
6G wireless technology is a technological leap but faces numerous obstacles before it can be realised. Some of these obstacles include:


Among the biggest obstacles the project faces is standardisation. With so many devices made by so many manufacturers, it is difficult to get an agreement on standards, which could mean 6G is not compatible with every device.
For example, a 5G smartphone may not be able to intercept a 6G signal due to the different wavelengths used. If such issues can’t be overcome, it might mean consumers have to buy new devices to benefit.


With the climate crisis becoming more pressing day by day, many consumers and authorities are demanding that products be sustainable and use as little power as possible. As such, researchers are focusing on ways to help keep 6G’s energy demands low, making it a suitable technology for the future. Solutions used to make 6G more power efficient may also be adopted by other technologies.


Personal and business data can hold valuable information that’s a target for bad-faith actors. Considering the sheer volume of data passing through the 6G network, it’s clear that security must be a paramount consideration.
As such, researchers are developing sophisticated hardware and software to help keep your data safe from unauthorised eyes. Such security systems also need to give authorised users easy access, making security more challenging.

When can I use 6G?

Research and development of 6G technology began in 2020, just four years after 5G was introduced. The challenges that 6G wireless technology presents mean it is unlikely to be available until the early 2030s. Development of 6G is an international initiative with numerous nations contributing to combined studies and helping to finance the project.
Many companies are already preparing for the introduction of 6G, developing innovation roadmaps that will help them tap into the 6G’s potential. Multiple leading companies have formed the Next G alliance focusing on 6G development.


6G is more than just an update on existing technology. Instead, it represents a leap in technology that offers functionality that 5G networks cannot offer. The significantly increased speed and reliability help make 6G suitable for highly advanced projects like autonomous vehicles or the metaverse.
For most people, 6G will mean being able to download large files in a fraction of the time it would previously take. 6G also means you are more likely to find a reliable and fast connection, no matter where you are. Users will also find increased functionality of online platforms as higher internet speeds allow for new capabilities.
The bad news is that it will be years before we see 6G rolled out, with its release not expected until sometime in the early 2030s. When 6G finally arrives, it could make our day-to-day lives far simpler than they are now.

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