5G might be yet to be deployed into all corners of the world, but from a research and development point of view, it’s done and dusted. The ICT engineers can now focus on the next generation of wireless data transmission, naturally called 6G – as the sixth generation to come. Today we are having a look at what LG, as a leading electronics and technology company has to share about their 6G developments.
LG aiming for 6G
We have all heard of 3G, 4G, and 5G. Each one is a different generation of wireless data transmission networks. But what do these really mean? The first-ever form of wireless network was simply referred to as 0G. They were barely mobile versions of telephones with very high latency and low speed of data transfer. Merely two generations later, 2G networks had the capability to transfer data at speeds sufficient enough to send texts, make phone calls and even send images. One more generation and mobile phones had the capability to run internet applications.
We mainly deal with 4G and 5G in the modern-day, the former being more widespread. These networks already provide an insane amount of data speed with very low latency compared to their predecessors. With 4G, we can stream video at 1080p, play online multiplayer games with 100 other devices in the same connection, and transfer data at speeds that are sufficient for modern devices. 5G takes it a step further. Fifty times further, to be more precise, allowing for feats like controlling robotics in real-time and uploading and downloading data almost instantaneously. But like every other piece of technology, there is always room for improvement, and companies like LG are already making the leap to the next step, 6G.
What is 6G?
6G is essentially going to be the next generation of data networks, made for devices to communicate in real-time on an enormous scale. Estimated to be about fifty times faster than 5G, it is said that 6G will revolutionize communication and networks entirely – again. But we have already heard a lot of similar information regarding 5G, and even though 5G is also incredible by itself, the number of hurdles that need to be overcome requires a lot more work. These newer generations of networks require smaller, higher frequency waves. And that poses a significant problem.
Issues in the practical world
Smaller waves mean that streams can be blocked very easily and have significantly smaller ranges. 5G can barely make it across a few kilometers and can even be blocked by something as simple as a tree or a building. This means that there is a need for many more towers and transmitters to cover an area previously using 4G. 6G takes that problem and multiplies it. Since 6G uses even smaller, higher frequency waves, the range is even smaller. That being said, LG has made a significant milestone by transmitting data in the real world over a distance of 100m over a 6G network.
The future of communication
6G is set to be the next generation of communications network, and with a timeline of being released in 2030, one might think, why worry about it now? Generations of networks undergo a lot of research and development before they’re rolled out. The first 5G chips were made back in 2013, and companies are still trying to overcome the hurdles of data transmission and data interference that 5G has. So 6G might be years away, it is still a big target for companies to be out at the front in the race for the next generation. LG is currently one of the companies at the front of developing 6G, and with more companies joining the race, there is hope that the hurdles won’t pose any significant obstacle in the future.
6G is going to be the future, allowing instantaneous communication between devices. This is going to be a crucial part of our future in any piece of technology that will be automated. Machines like self-driving cars can significantly benefit from a communications network that is as fast as 6G with as low latency. Robotics can be a more straightforward solution for many practical problems with 6G, and communication will be more accessible than ever. LG’s work will help to prepare infrastructure for an interesting future. With further research and development, there is a bright and hopeful future for the next generation of communication networks in 6G.
According to Lee Ki-dong, principal research engineer at LG Electronics, the use cases can vary widely but partnerships are as important as ever. He states, “What self-driving cars and remote surgery have in common is the need for connectivity that 5G cannot readily support but which ultra-responsive and extremely low-latency 6G can. But while the technology will be ready, it’s also critically important for governments to be on board as well and that requires the right regulations which is why LG’s involvement in Next G Alliance is so important.”
To all who want to learn more about 6G, we also recommend having a look at the video below, with Arun Maini explaining more about how this technology works.
YouTube: 6G Explained
Photo credit: The shown images are owned by LG and were made available as part of a press release.
Source: LG newsroom