According to Samsung, 6G is coming by 2028. You can move on.
Samsung has delivered some of the first widely published detail into 6G, in a white paper [PDF] available now.
Yes, yes we’re still waiting for 5G in mid-2020, but 6G isn’t just about the next barrier of speeds:
- “While 5G commercialization is still in its initial stage, it’s never too early to start preparing for 6G because it typically takes around 10 years from the start of research to commercialization of a new generation of communications technology,” said Sunghyun Choi, Head of the Advanced Communications Research Center.
- “Samsung defines three categories of requirements that have to be met to realize 6G services – performance, architectural and trustworthiness requirements.”
- The company will begin 6G research in “full-scale” this year, said Choi, with aims to have work done on defining and developing technical standards started in 2021.
Examples of Samsung defined 6G performance requirements:
- A peak data rate of 1,000 Gbps (gigabits per second)
- Air latency less than 100 microseconds (or 0.1milliseconds)
- Which amounts to around 50 times the peak data rate and one-tenth the latency of 5G, in an ideal world.
- Other requirements: twice the energy efficiency of 4G, and extreme reliability for near-zero data errors (10^-7)
- The diagram below compares key performance requirements between 6G (darker blue) and 5G:
So how can 6G be used in the near-future? 16K VR and holograms of course:
- Samsung provides use cases for the tech, including truly immersive XR (AR/VR/mixed reality), jumping from current 4K tech to 16K VR streaming which requires downlink speeds of 0.9Gbps. Samsung notes that current 5G connections can’t provide this speed.
- Samsung says streaming AR to an 8K display currently requires 55.3Mbps, and believes “truly immersive” AR requires 0.44Gbps speeds.
- On high-fidelity holograms, Samsung suggests a hologram display over a 6.7-inch mobile device display with 11.1 Gigapixels form-factor require data rates of ‘at least 0.58 Tbps’.
- Another angle is a ‘Digital Replica/Digital Twin’ technology, to replicate people, devices, places, and more, which further requires speeds of several Tbps, according to the firm.
- The idea of a full-scale digital hologram on a 0.1ms delay isn’t bad. And probably would’ve been very useful during COVID-19 lockdowns!
- Samsung is not on its own in looking at 6G, but the detail here is significantly more than previous acknowledgments of 6G research from other players like Nokia and Ericsson.
- But this is the first time we’ve seen widely published tech specs, and a timeline other than ‘6G is ten years away.’
- I’m probably not going to remember if Samsung was right about 2028 in 2028, but it’s still important to get an idea of the coming future to shape your thoughts.