Experts believe 6G will change the world because cloud-based technology makes possible more incredible speeds and microsecond latency. The Future is 6G The upcoming generation is here 5G deployment is already well underway, and this year will likely see more than a billion 5G connections. But even as the world begins to understand the promise of new network capabilities, 6G is already being investigated. Although 6G is still in its infancy, analysts believe it will offer more excellent frequency bands and adaptable cloud-based networking technologies to deliver previously unheard-of speeds up to 100x faster than 5G and microsecond latency. The 5G Infrastructure Association claims that 6G would deliver “a near-instant and unconstrained total wireless connectivity,” with the technology expected to alter how businesses conduct business fundamentally. And if forecasts hold, this game-changing technology, which might support innovations like automatic vehicles and intelligent home networks, might become a reality within the next six to ten years.
6G is the next generation of mobile networks that is expected to be faster and more efficient than 5G. Some predictions for 6G include the following:
- Extremely high speeds: 6G is expected to have download and upload speeds several times faster than 5G, potentially reaching speeds of up to 1 Tbps.
- Very low latency: 6G is expected to have latency (the time it takes for data to travel from one point to another) much lower than 5G, potentially as low as 1 ms.
- Increased capacity: 6G is expected to have increased power, which means it can support more devices and users.
- Large-scale deployment of IoT: 6G is expected to enable the large-scale deployment of the Internet of Things (IoT), which will connect billions of devices to the internet.
- Support for new technologies: 6G is expected to support technologies like holographic communications, which will enable the transmission of 3D images and videos in real-time, and terahertz communications, which will allow the transmission of large amounts of data over short distances. The development of 6G is still in the early stages, and the final implementation of this technology will come in the future.
A “network of networks” in 6G
The use of edge and cloud infrastructure will be crucial in deploying future 6G networks since cutting-edge applications of tomorrow, such as the metaverse and extended reality, appear to require ever-increasing connectivity. According to Ian Goetz, Global Lead – RAN Systems Architect 5G at Dell Technologies, “6G is evolving as an edge-centric technology that will combine terrestrial (cellular), spatial (satellite), air (UAV), and maritime communications into a single, highly dimensional “network of networks.” The author continues that the appropriate distribution of available CPU and network resources will determine the network service that is dynamically assigned to your cell phone (or IoT endpoint). “A fundamental benefit of leveraging cloud infrastructure in 6G is the flexibility to scale such network services up and down elastically.” According to Tech Mahindra’s Manish Vyas, President of CME Business and CEO of Network Services, 6G will also provide the advantages that 5G already delivers, but with significantly higher performance. Beyond that, he adds, “6G will enable intelligent, hyperconnected, distributed, disaggregated, and highly secure networks with incredibly high capacity and all-encompassing coverage To support capacity of up to 1 terabit per second, 6G will utilize additional frequency bands, mainly in the mmWave GHz and sub-THz range, with broader bandwidth access. Additionally, according to Vyas, open ecosystems, interfaces, and AI-native design will serve as the foundation for 6G. This indicates that 6G networks can access more complex AI capabilities and improved support for high-end mobile devices than 5G networks.
Problems with the switch to 6G
- Shamik Mishra, CTO of Connectivity and Vice President at Capgemini Engineering, predicts questions like “Is 5G enough?” and “Do we truly need 6G or higher data rates, and if so, for what use cases? ” will persist over the coming years.
- “As more things—including businesses, homes, ports, and vehicles—become mobilely connected to the internet, wireless technology must advance to become more effective in terms of price, energy use, spectrum, and operations.”
- According to Volker Ziegler, Senior Technology Advisor and Chief Architect at Nokia, 6G will be cloud-native from the outset, with scalability and interoperability as the two most important factors.
- Because they were created separately, communication and computing systems have been a barrier to this shift. However, he continues, “We see an opportunity to permit increased interaction across these systems.” “New architecture designs for 6G are required to combine these essential components. These designs must be adaptable enough to enable services used on various distributed cloud platforms, whether private or public, edge, core, or on-premise.
- One of the main factors in the construction of Nokia’s 6G networks has been the increased focus on security that working with enormous volumes of data necessitates. We have extensively studied to ensure that network platforms in the 6G future are appropriately secured. Microservices are continuously monitored, and platform and workload integrity are protected both at boot and while running. We are also investigating if cryptographic components are secure for the approaching quantum computing era in the 2030s.
- In the future, new and exciting possibilities will be made possible by rethinking how networks work now, according to Vyas, including holographic communications, a tactile internet, intelligent network operations, and the convergence of networking and computing.
- It’s challenging to forecast what 6G will look like. Still, based on what we’ve learned from 5G and open RAN networks, he continues, “we know 6G is going to be AI-based, highly intelligent, and fully integrated, with ultra-low latency systems and massive ecosystems using open interfaces.”
Additionally, Mishra predicts that 6G networks will extensively use machine learning (ML) as mobile networks get more comprehensive and complicated.
He states, “6G will scale AI/ML to improve radio/network architecture, network management, orchestration, and resource management.” “Through real-time data consumption, edge computing/AI-driven apps in combination with the sensor network will enable various new intelligent industry use cases. According to Goetz, the reality-defying demands of 6G necessitate a reevaluation of what a cellular network looks like. The traditional ‘cell’ architecture, which had previously served as the basic unit of design for cellular and is, in fact, the ‘cell’ in cellular, was one of the first things we performed. The architecture of 6G will be “cell-free,” meaning there won’t be any cell or cell boundaries A scale-out, the elastic cloud platform is connected to a large number of distributed radios, which is the core concept of cell-free. With 6G, the entire network can adapt to the size required to serve the user best, whether that size is large or small. It develops into a more dynamic grid.
To enable a smooth transition, a new network infrastructure is needed.
Mishra says when the network is used as a platform, “we can expect unique use cases.” These use cases will bring novel traffic patterns, new data rate requirements, more excellent uplink rates, machine-to-machine connections, etc. All of this will influence the development of 6G wireless radio technology and the architecture of the network. According to Ziegler, “the 6G network architecture will be built on combining diverse network functions in cloud environments, leveraging the growth of AI in all domains, using new types of sub-networks, and improving ways of providing data and services to third parties.” Data, communication, and computing are essential features that 6G systems must provide to enable and, most crucially, the scale for use cases involving automation, artificial intelligence (AI), the metaverse, digital twins, and other technologies across several significant industries. In the end, he says, “we need to recognize that the change to 6G is evolutionary, as it has already started with 5G opening the way for truly cloud-native networks.” “At Nokia, we chose four essential characteristics to describe cloud-nativeness. Since containers are easier to deploy and upgrade than massive monolithic programmes, we anticipate seeing compact, stateless microservices architecture operating in containers.
We also anticipate settings deployed anywhere independent of infrastructure and clouds. We will be able to get rid of hardware requirements thanks to abstraction. Finally, everything will revolve around DevOps for automation and a quicker market time. According to Goetz, who anticipates a shift from “connected things” to “connected intelligence,” the transition from 5G to 6G will necessitate extensive edge cloud infrastructure. He says that to realize intelligent connections between people, devices, and resources, “we understand that when we talk about linked intelligence, we are going beyond customized communication. Goetz says, “It is anticipated that in the 6G age, we will be able to interact through high-fidelity extended/mixed reality (XR/MR) interaction, and even holographic communication.” For users to enjoy fully immersive holographic experiences like virtual sports, virtual travel, and virtual games anytime, anywhere, XR must fully mobilize the senses of sight, touch, hearing, and smell.
6G is the next generation of mobile networks that is expected to bring significant advancements in speed, latency, capacity, security, and support for new technologies. It will enable the large-scale deployment of the Internet of Things, and enable new technologies such as holographic communications and terahertz communications. While the development of 6G is still in its early stages, it is clear that it has the potential to revolutionize the way we communicate and interact with technology. As more research and development is done in this field, we can expect to see further advancements that will change the way we live and work in the future.