The first 5G phones are still arriving in Brazil and we are beginning to have a vague idea of when the Anatel frequency auction will take place. What to do? Plan the 6G, of course. Samsung published on Tuesday (14) a document showing the company’s vision for sixth generation mobile networks, which could have even higher speeds and operate at frequencies in the terahertz (THz) home.
According to Samsung, the requirements of 5G focus mainly on performance, while 6G should consider not only performance, but also the architecture and reliability of the technology. The idea is that the 6G is 100 times more reliable than the 5G and has a capacity for ten times more connected equipment, that is, about 10 million devices per square kilometer.
Performance, of course, will also be improved. Samsung works with an expectation of peak speed of 1 terabit per second on the network, with users having a typical 1 Gb / s experience. Air latency should be less than 100 µs (microseconds), allowing a total latency below 1 ms. For that, it would be necessary to double the efficiency of the network spectrum in relation to 5G.
The development of the 6G still needs to consider the technological advancement in transport: the 4G was planned for a maximum speed of 350 km / h, while the 5G can already remain connected even at 500 km / h. Samsung says the technology must support non-terrestrial components, such as planes, geostationary and low-Earth orbit satellites, as well as high-altitude platforms (HAPS).
Major users of 6G should be the machines
And what is all this for? Whenever we talk about 4G and 5G in Tecnoblog, the reactions were very standardized:
- “(X) G doesn’t even work well yet, there’s no reason to think about (x + 1) G now”;
- “(X) G already manages to be very quick to watch my videos on YouTube, who needs these absurd speeds from (x + 1) G”.
Well, we think about new technologies because we like technology, wow. And I even understand the grumpy, but the truth is that 6G is not for you, silly.
The idea is that 6G will be used mainly by machines, not humans: there will be around 500 billion devices connected in 2030, or 59 times the estimated population for that year, of 8.5 billion people. The technology will be aimed at cars, robots, drones, appliances, screens, smart sensors, construction machines and factory equipment.
6G needs to be fast and reliable for machines because they exceed human capabilities. A normal person only perceives latencies up to 100 milliseconds, sees waves from 280 to 780 nm (between violet and red) and have limited resolution, viewing angle and sound frequency, while a machine can overcome these restrictions.
The 6G use cases revealed by Samsung are somewhat futuristic. One is the extended reality (XR) fully immersive, which may require transmissions in 16K, which would use a bandwidth of approximately 900 Mb / s, a requirement that will not be met without choking by 5G.
It will also be possible to use technology to high fidelity holograms on mobile devices and do … digital replicas. Imagine that you created a copy of a factory; if a problem is detected in the simulation of the digital replica, an artificial intelligence can request corrective actions in the real world.
“The technical challenges [das réplicas digitais] are significant. To duplicate an area of 1 × 1 meter, for example, we need a therapeutixel, which requires a transfer rate of 0.8 Tb / s, assuming a periodic synchronization of 100 ms and a compression rate of 1/300 ”, says Samsung.
And how does 6G get off the ground?
Imagining the 6G can even be easy, it is difficult to create the pattern so that it meets the specifications. For this, Samsung has defined some “candidate technologies” that can be used in the new sixth generation mobile networks.
In the spectrum field, 6G should operate on frequencies in the home of terahertz. While the 5G mmWave will operate between 6 and 110 GHz, 6G networks would emit waves of up to 3,000 GHz. It would be necessary to create new protocols and optimize the antenna architecture, since higher frequencies have less signal penetration (which is why your 5 GHz Wi-Fi doesn’t go as far as 2.4 GHz).
Cell towers are expected to continue to exist in large cities, but 6G could also be installed in high altitude satellites and platforms to provide connection in marine or desert areas, for example. Obviously, this creates difficulties that do not exist in terrestrial components, since the 6G would need to work even with “antennas” that move at high speeds.
An mesh network topology would allow 6G to have expanded coverage, with the addition, configuration and automated optimization of new antennas. This would make operators spend less time and money planning the network and improve the user experience, which would move freely between different cells, with more constant performance.
6G should consider the split computing (split computing), since applications such as extended reality, digital replicas and high-fidelity holograms require a high computational power, which may not be served by the devices, since they will have limited chips and batteries due to their physical size. For “processing sharing” to work, Samsung signals the creation of an open source standard or technology to accommodate different manufacturers.
6G era should start in 2028
For Samsung, the first 6G networks could be commercialized already in 2028. The company notes that the development of a new generation of mobile networks has accelerated in recent decades, going from 15 years on 3G to just 8 years on 5G between the period of standard definitions and the deployment of technology. Therefore, 6G would take eight years or less to reach the last stage of development.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is expected to start working on the 6G vision and specifications in 2021, according to Samsung. In 2028, the first sixth generation networks would come, while a “mass marketing” should happen around 2030, says the company.