6 Minutes on 6G is the monthly dive into what's happening in the world of cellular communications and what technologies and business trends are shaping 6G. Join your hosts Ben Coffin and Colin Bauer as they interview the thought leaders in the world of communications, artificial intelligence, digital twins and research testbeds to uncover where and when 6G will become a reality.

Meet the 6G Team

Ben Coffin

Ben Coffin
6G Solution Manager

Colin Bauer

Colin Bauer
Market Initiative Manager, 5G and 6G

EPISODE 4: How big can MIMO go?

Ben and Colin head to Berkeley, California to learn how MIMO might be the secret to solving the dreaded "Stadium Problem". In this episode Colin chats with Dr. Ali Niknejad, Director of the Berkeley Wireless Research Center about the future of MIMO and when enough antennas are enough.

Dig Deeper with the 6G eBook

Unlock the future of wireless communication technology with this comprehensive eBook on 6G networks. Delve into the latest technologies, use cases, and advancementsthat are shaping the evolution of wireless connectivity, providing valuable insights for technology enthusiasts and professionals. Whether you're exploring the potential of 6G or seeking insights to drive technological advancements, this eBook is your guide to the transformative possibilities of future wireless networks.

6G eBook Thumbnail

EPISODE 3: What will the 6G physical layer be?

Ben and Colin get physical (layer) in this episode of 6 Minutes on 6G, and head to the University of Texas at Austin to talk to Jeff Andrews, Director of 6G@UT about what's in store for the 6G physical layer.

EPISODE 2: How do you build a 6G testbed?

Ben and Colin hit IMS 2023 in San Diego, CA after an attempt to build their own research setup to find out how to build a 6G testbed. Ben talks to Mari Silbey, PAWR Program Manager for the NSF's PAWR Program to find out about the wireless research infrastructure available for 6G today.

EPISODE 1: Is it too early to talk about 6G?

Ben and Colin kick off the series at the Big 5G show in Austin, TX to ask the question, "Is it too early to talk about 6G?" Find out why it may be the perfect time to start thinking about 6G, and hear what Sarah LaSelva, Director of 6G Marketing at Keysight, is excited about for new wireless standards.

Frequently Asked Questions – 6G

What is 6G?

In a nutshell, 6G is the sixth generation of the wireless communications standard for cellular networks that will succeed today's 5G (fifth generation). The research community does not expect 6G technology to replace the previous generations, though. Instead, they will work together to provide solutions that enhance our lives.

While 5G will act as a building block for some aspects of 6G, other aspects need to be new for it to meet the technical demands required to revolutionize the way we connect to the world in a fashion.

Who Will use 6G technology and what will it look like?

We began to see the shift to more machine-to-machine communication in 5G, and 6G looks to take this to the next level. While people will be end users for 6G, so will more and more of our devices. This shift will affect daily life as well as businesses and entire industries in a transformational way.

Beyond faster browsing for the end user, we can expect immersive and haptic experiences to enhance human communications. Ericsson, for example, foresees the emergence of the "internet of senses," the possibility to feel sensations like a scent or a flavor digitally. According to one Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance (NGMN) report, holographic telepresence and volumetric video — think of it as video in 3D — will also be a use case. This is all so that virtual, mixed, and augmented reality could be part of our everyday lives.

what do we need to achieve 6g?

New horizons ask for new technology. It is true that 6G will greatly benefit from 5G in areas such as edge computing, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), network slicing, and others. At the same time, we need changes to match new technical requirements.

The most sensible demand is understanding how to work in the sub-terahertz frequency. While 5G needs to operate in the millimeter-wave (mmWave) bands of 24.25 GHz to 52.6 GHz to achieve its full potential, the next generation of mobile connectivity will likely move to frequencies above 100 GHz in the ranges called sub-terahertz and possibly as high as true terahertz.

Another area of interest is designing 6G networks for AI and ML. 5G networks are starting to look at adding AI and ML to existing networks, but with 6G we have the opportunity to build networks from the ground up that are designed to work natively with these technologies.

There is also a challenge that 6G aims to tackle: security. How to ensure the data is safe and that only authorized people can have access to it — and solutions to make systems foresee complex attacks automatically.

One last technical demand is virtualization. As 5G evolves, we will start to move to the virtual environment. Open RAN (O-RAN) architectures are moving more processing and functionality into the cloud today. Solutions like edge computing will be more and more common in the future.

Will 6g technology be sustainable?

6G technology is expected to help humans improve sustainability in a wide array of applications. One example is by optimizing the use of natural resources in farms. Using real-time data, 6G will also enable smart vehicle routing, which will cut carbon emissions, and better energy distribution, which will increase efficiency.

Also, researchers are putting sustainability at the center of their 6G projects. Components like semiconductors using new materials should decrease power consumption. Ultimately, we expect the next generation of mobile connectivity to help achieve the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

When Is 6g Coming?

The industry consensus is that the first 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards release to include 6G will be completed in 2030. Early versions of 6G technologies could be demonstrated in trials as early as 2028, repeating the 10-year cycle we saw in previous generations. That is the vision made public by the Next G Alliance, a North American initiative of which Keysight is a founding member, to foster 6G development in the United States and Canada.

Before launching the next generation of mobile connectivity into the market, international bodies discuss technical specifications to allow for interoperability. This means, for example, making sure that your phone will work everywhere in the world.

Here at Keysight, for instance, we are leveraging our proven track record of collaboration in 5G and Open RAN to pioneer solutions needed to create the foundation of 6G. We partner with market leaders to advance testing and measurement for emerging 6G technologies. Every week, we come across a piece of news informing that a company or a university has made a groundbreaking discovery.

The most exciting thing is that we get an inch closer to 6G every day. Tomorrow’s internet is being built today. Join us in this journey; it is just the beginning.

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