Why 6G research is starting before we have 5G

While much of the world is still wondering how long it will take to get 5G networks, and what it could mean to their lives and economies, a group of telecommunications researchers is looking further ahead to what comes after that: 6G.

Next week in Levi, Finland, a group of 250 researchers will gather for one of the first global summits on the 6G Wireless standard to begin asking the most basic of questions: What is it and why does the world need it?…

The most obvious starting points are speed and spectrum. The initial thinking is that 6G will target speeds of 1 terabyte per second. Yes, terabyte. To get those speeds, signals will need to be transmitted above 1 terahertz, compared to the measly gigahertz range where 5G operates.