IDTechEx expects deployments to begin in 2030, but 6G not to supersede 5G until 2037.
In a new report, IDTechEx predicts 6G will be a $1 trillion opportunity for telcos and communications service providers (CSPs), and that it will overlap with 5G from 2030 until it becomes the dominant network infrastructure in 2037.
6G is likely to use spectrum in the unallocated terahertz band of 275GHz to 10THz and has the potential to provide “lightning fast, ubiquitous connectivity” – with download speeds of 100Gbps to 1Tbps.
That’s about 100 times faster than 5G’s current limits.
Also, while in the last few years, emphasis in the communications industry has been on softwarisation, 6G will be as much about hardware as software, and the report's authors say the hardware it needs does not yet exist.
It is also expected to be 6G will also be the first network technology to offer ubiquitous coverage, including the Earth’s whole surface, airspace and underwater.
As well as improved coverage, 6G will support up to 10 million connected devices per square kilometre, according to the report.
Another new aspect is that 6G will provide the power needed by IoT devices, so they will no longer need batteries.
IPT.net reported a spokesperson from the “Work began in earnest on 6G communications in 2020 with over $ billion committed and a Chinese satellite sent up to experiment on the possibilities.
“Finland, Korea, and China are particularly active in researching the terahertz electronics that will be at the heart of 6G, but there is excellent work in India and elsewhere.
“Backing Finland and its partners are over $350 million of new European Union research grants, so this is serious. Although little is decided – not even the frequency – much can be said about the extremely ambitious 6G objectives and challenges”.