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How faster will the 6G internet be?

Posted On     Friday, November 26th, 2021

The new internet technology promises to be a revolution in our worlds, making possible for humanity to create intelligent cities, the metaverse, and more.

 

While 5G technology has not come to every place in the world yet, big tech companies are already paving the path for the 6th generation of wireless connections, the 6G.  And what can we expect of it? As it is still a developing technology, we can not say much for sure. But as time advances and more studies come out, we have good directions. 

First, of course, higher internet speed. But how much faster? 6G is expected to take us through the terabyte frontier. 

Nowadays fastest internet plans (in the 5G world) promises speeds up to 1 Gigabyte per second. So, 6G would be a thousand times faster. You got it right, 1,000 times faster. For streams, for example, it would be paradise. It can make 4K movies look like small WhatsApp videos. 

It can be a revolution in almost every aspect of the internet world we are used to, because it can transport enormous quantities of data in much less time.  6G is not expected to come out before 2030, but it can change our world. 

It is essential, for example, for the metaverse revolution that Meta promiesses. It can bring giant improvements for imaging and location technologies —presence and awareness, for example. Can make intelligent cars and cities a reality. Also, it can bring games to a whole new world, also considering the expected virtual reality and augmented reality revolutions. 

New era of gaming and connectivity 

The future of gaming might be in virtual reality and augmented reality. Those two ways of interacting and connecting with the online world are the core of the new metaverse Meta is trying to create. 

 It is still much too early to say what will be possible with the advance of meta devices and tech, but one thing is for sure: we will need much, much more advanced data processing and transmitting capacity, and that is where 6G comes in hand. 

 Also, for gamers, it will revolutionize latency —aka ping. 

 

A fast recap: what is ping? 

It’s basically the time it takes for your action (a button click, for example) to reach the games server, come back to your machine (computer or console) and have an effect on the game itself. It’s measured in milliseconds.  So, if you and another player shoot at the same time, at the same target, if your latency, or ping, is bigger, you might lose the kill. 

When it comes to ping, today, every millisecond counts. Actually, millisecond is the measure used to latency, because the differences in data transfer speed varies in that scale. But 6G promises to bring the game to the microsecond scale. It means a thousand times faster, 1,000 times faster. Or 1/1,000th of the current millisecond ping rates. 

 But of course, for it to work, we will need much faster data transfer, process and storage technologies. And also, we will need to make the 6G terahertz signal to get everywhere. 

 

The challenge to make 6G a reality 

We will try to spare you from the super advanced technology terminology, but to understand the 6G revolution, we need to understand how it works. Nowadays 5G internet routers or mobile receivers send data through megahertz frequencies and millimeter waves in the air. 

 Once again, 6G is a breakthrough. It will run into terahertz frequencies and submillimeter waves. In other words, much higher frequencies, which means a less congested wave spectrum. The downside is that it has an even weaker range than the 5G waves —that already requires a line of sight between its source and the receiver end device. 

That is why, in fact, internet signal is stronger when close to the router in your house then when you are at the most far room from it. Also, materials such as metal or drywall, much common in our houses, can block internet signals. Glass, in other hand, causes less damage. So, in a hypothetical exercise, we may need to change the way we plan and build our houses and offices. 

Tech companies around the globe are focusing also on how to make 6G terahertz frequencies trasmitable over the each day more developed and spread fiber optic cables. That would be the fastest way to make 6G accessible. Much faster, for example, than having to change the entire cable world we live in for a newer wire —actually, that is happening right now with the arrival of fiber internet, that in some time promises to take down our old phone cable connections. 

 

AI (Artificial Intelligence) 

Some researchers have already reached a conclusion: for the 6G internet to work, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will have to play a central role. It is simple. It would be impossible to organize the amount of data 6G promises to transmit in such a short time without it. 

Imagine an intelligent New York city. It would mean 2,7 million automated cars. Everyone of them needs to be aware of its locations, of its surroundings, of its routes (and routes need recalculations every time). And when those thousands of cars reach a crossroad? Well, now imagine that in a smart city, not only cars, but entire buildings would be connected, uncountable devices would need to be simultaneously connected and to run together.  

So, yes, let’s open our lives to AI, it is the only way to make it all work smoothly. In that way, researchers are starting to develop a world with no big central clouds to storage data like we have today. Indeed, they plan to spread localized cloud devices almost everywhere, so data can not only be stored at lots of different places, but also it would be closer to you, making connections work even faster. It is called edge computing. And, to integrate all these localized storage devices and connect you to the nearest one, we will also need AI.

But, nevertheless, for all of this to work, we will need more powerful processors than ever before, and that is still a challenge researchers are working on. 

 

Written By: Larissa Bernardes

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