While 5G telecommunications has not yet achieved global coverage, an increasing number of businesses are actively engaging in discussions and preparations for 6G, the forthcoming sixth-generation mobile system standard.
Although the widespread availability of 6G is projected for 2030, the telecommunications industry is currently focusing on short-term enhancements, paving the way for 5G-Advanced as the next evolutionary step before the anticipated advent of 6G.
6G serves as the successor to 5G in communications technology. Beyond catering to mobile services, 6G is poised to facilitate networks for smart homes and autonomous vehicles, fostering seamless integration between the internet and daily life. Contrasted with 4G LTE networks, 5G already pledges download speeds several times faster and notably reduced latency. Naturally, 6G networks function at higher frequencies compared to their 5G counterparts, ensuring significantly increased bandwidth and even lower latency.
Anticipating the Impacts of 6G
One of the biggest impacts that we can expect from the rollout of 6G is that is it poised to ignite the metaverse. While the term “metaverse” dominates discussions in IT circles today, even 5G struggles to provide the necessary bandwidth for real-time, rendered, personalised 3D worlds.
However, with 6G, the speed and bandwidth required for an immersive, persistent, fully-integrated virtual metaverse become achievable. Furthermore, 6G technology will usher in a broader array of smart devices flooding the market, connecting our society with an abundance of internet-connected devices capable of collecting and transmitting data.
This pervasive intelligence and the expanded Internet of Things (IoT) will establish seamless connectivity between everyday life and the Internet.
How Might 6G Revolutionise Our Work Routines?
Wireless sensing devices powered by 6G would employ various frequencies to evaluate, absorb, and alter vibrations. This approach becomes feasible due to specific frequencies in electromagnetic radiation generated and absorbed by atoms and molecules, which remain consistent for each material.
The advent of 6G is poised to have a significant impact on both commercial and government policies geared towards safeguarding assets and the general public. These policies encompass the following:
- Detection of potential risks
- Health monitoring
- Profile and image identification
- Expedited decision-making within social credit systems and law enforcement
- Measurement of air quality
- Detection of chemical and toxic substances
- Implementation of realistic sensory interfaces
Envisioning a Transformative 6G Rollout in the Workplace
Consider the following predictions about how 6G could reshape the workplaces of the future:
Revolutionising Online Connectivity
Rather than enduring lengthy 2D Zoom or Teams meetings, we may engage in meetings within 3D digital spaces. Avatars will establish “real” eye contact, and participants can seamlessly switch locations to find virtual spaces for one-on-one meetings or immersive experiences such as visiting a factory or trying out a product.
Entering a New Social Media Realm
6G connectivity will shift the way we engage with social media. Instead of viewing 2D profiles on smartphones, mixed reality glasses will allow us to visit people’s 3D worlds, rendered in real-time and personalised. Virtual gatherings in unique settings, such as a virtual home or a virtual planet for a social chat, will become commonplace.
Navigating the Future Roads with 6G
Real-time 4D maps enabled by 6G will help manage future city traffic, including autonomous vehicles on the ground and in the air. With highly accurate sensors in vehicles and at base stations, commutes will be optimised for speed and comfort.
Training Future Workers with VR and AR
Companies will leverage 6G technology to provide immersive VR and AR training experiences, enhancing knowledge transfer between teams and improving knowledge retention. There are already companies that use AR and VR to train new hires, overlaying information to guide them as they learn through mimicking tasks.
6G technology will transform healthcare, introducing smart sensors that navigate through our bloodstream to monitor and measure every aspect of our health. These connected devices will continuously collect data, analyse information, make recommendations, and predict health issues in advance. The healthcare industry will transition from a reactive to a predictive, personalised model, significantly impacting healthcare professionals.
In conclusion, the era of 6G is on the horizon, along with advances in business broadband and other developments within the connectivity and broadband spaces potentially arriving as soon as 2030, and its profound impact on the way we work is inevitable. As developments in meetings, workplace training, social media, healthcare, and transportation accelerate, we are poised to witness an extraordinary array of 6G use cases that will enhance lives globally.