by Marcus Law

With the relatively recent development of 5G networks, 6G might seem to some like a distant ambition. Yet, already, the next generation networking is poised to unleash a new era of innovation, connectivity, and transformative possibilities.

With its potential to achieve unprecedented data speeds, incredibly low latency, enhanced reliability, and ubiquitous connectivity, 6G technology holds the key to unlocking a multitude of applications that were once considered unimaginable. From empowering the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem to facilitating the seamless integration of AI and immersive technologies, the advent of 6G networks is expected to reshape industries, economies, and society as a whole.

According to a report by the 5G Infrastructure Association, 6G will bring 'a near-instant and unrestricted complete wireless connectivity', with the technology set to radically reshape the way enterprises operate.

And, if predictions are correct, this transformational tech could be a reality in the beginning of the next decade.

"Future networks will be a fundamental component for the functioning of virtually all parts of life, society, and industries, fulfilling the communication needs of humans as well as intelligent machines," says Ericsson. "As accelerating automation and digitalisation continue to simplify people's lives, the emerging cyber-physical continuum will continuously improve efficiency and ensure the sustainable use of resources.

"The vision for 6G is built on the desire to create a seamless reality where the digital and physical worlds as we know them today have merged. This merged reality of the future will provide new ways of meeting and interacting with other people, new possibilities to work from anywhere and new ways to experience faraway places and cultures."

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Going beyond communications

As Victor Holmin, Director of Portfolio and Consulting at World Wide Technology, describes, 6G will represent a move 'beyond communications'.

"6G will go beyond communications by creating a distributed neural network with the ability to integrate physical, biological and cyber systems," he explains. 

"This will be done through establishing a bridge between cognitive computing, communications and sensing technologies. 6G will mark the beginning of a new era: the Internet of Behaviours and Intelligence of Everything."

This new wave of edge computing and AI-driven applications, coupled with the sensor network and increase of connectivity speeds, will enable a wide variety of new intelligent industry use cases. 

If these predictions become a reality, the deployment of 6G has the potential to dramatically increase capabilities, across the full spectrum of global industries, including transforming the way that teams collaborate. 

"Instead of spending hours on 2D Zoom or Teams meetings, we will meet in 3D digital spaces, where our avatars will have 'real' eye contact," predicts technology blogger and influencer Bernard Marr. "We will be able to meet in groups and even express body language in real-time.

"If we need to hold a one-on-one meeting, we could simply switch all the participants out and find a quiet virtual space to connect. And if you want to visit a factory or try out a product, you could simply 'fly' or 'teleport' to a digital twin and experience it from there."

And, as Holmin adds, 6G will support the virtual world more than ever before.


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