While the rest of the world barely adopts the 5G technology, some countries are already experimenting with the next-generation data connectivity. The 6G promises lower latency and much faster data speed compared to 5G.
China has started the first step in 6G experiment by deploying a new 6G satellite. A researcher reported that the satellite could deliver between 100 to 500 Gbps data connectivity. In general, 6G could be 100 times faster than regular 5G speed. It means that 6G could be wicked fast, because 5G itself is 100 times faster than 4G LTE. Tommaso Melodia from the Northeastern University predicts that it is possible for smartphone users to download a high-resolution movie in less than 20 seconds. It will be finally possible to remotely control delicate instruments and equipment with 6G connectivity. As an example, surgeons can perform operations with robot on patients located in different countries. Without doubt, the United States will also contribute in the development process. The outbreak has proven that our society has significant dependence on Internet technology and the 6G will bring it to the next level.
China also took a significant lead on the development of 5G technology and it’s yet to be seen, whether China will be the real winner in 6G technology. They created a 5-year roadmap when building out the 5G technology. It appears that China’s current leadership in advanced wireless data connectivity is similar to what the United Kingdom when pioneering the telegraph communication around 150 years ago. China fully understands that anyone who controls the advanced digital communication technology will also control the world. However, it is quite concerning that if China, US and Europe have separate development paths, we will see multiple 6G standards, which will be bad for compatibility. During early implementation of 3G technology, there were different standards, which prevented phones from working uniformly around the world. It could be years away before we get practical, real-life implementation of 6G, but it will be interesting to see how the technology develops. As we are venturing further into the 21st century, it appears that China has started to innovate and lead in cutting-edge technological developments. Historically, Europe and North America made significant inventions in science and technology, but Far Eastern countries have been contributing significantly.
In 2017, the global expenditure for research and development reached $2.2 trillion, with China spending nearly $500 billion and the United States was slightly more at $550 billion. As China plans to significantly enhance R&D effort, they may significantly surpass the US in terms of R&D expenditure. It may mean that we will see a heated technological race between China and the United States. It will be less likely for them to cooperate and seek a common standard, including for 6G technology. In fact, in its 14th 5-year plan, starting from 2021 to 2015, China is planning to become self-reliant in autonomous technology, next generation wireless technology, artificial intelligence and semiconductor chips. With 13 satellites for 6G experiment are already in orbit, China is having a massive lead in 6G technology. We could expect that 6G will use higher frequency than the mmWave of 5G technology. The terahertz frequency will be put future wireless data transfer closer to infrared band.