Ready to Tackle 6G?
Wireless communication technologies are always evolving to meet the demands of ever-advancing technology. 6G builds on top of the foundation laid by previous standards: connecting across industries, scaling to new orders of magnitude with artificial intelligence, and changing what we thought possible with connectivity.
As 6G research begins and technologies are being validated for the new applications 6G will usher in, these leading technologies will be the focus for research, prototyping and testing to get to the 6G vision.
There is a constant evolution happening in 6G research and Keysight experts are focused on helping to design, test and develop the next innovations for the 6G marketplace. Check out key perspectives and find out what the biggest obstacles and most exciting technologies are for 6G.
See how 6G is making an impact in the world and how Keysight customers are enabled to lead the charge toward 6G innovation.
“Together with pacesetters such as NTU, Keysight is enabling high-speed data transfer links critical to realizing a wide range of consumer, enterprise and government 6G applications.”
Boon Juan Tan, vice president and general manager of Keysight's general electronics measurements solutions (GEMS) group
“To realize a future of smart cities, smart manufacturing, smart transportation and smart healthcare, the information and communication technology (ICT) industry needs to establish effective platforms of collaboration and roll out a wireless connectivity fabric built on legacy as well as new communication technologies, such as 6G.”
Roger Nichols, 6G program director at Keysight
"The use of sub-THz spectrum to power the next generation of wireless technology is one key enabler to merging the physical and digital worlds, which will result in creative ways for people to interact with their surroundings [...] Keysight takes an active role in several government-sponsored 6G initiatives around the globe. These are critical in generating momentum for technology that will accelerate digitalization and drive innovation for consumers, government and businesses."
Kailash Narayanan, president of Keysight's Communications Solutions Group
"Keysight's expertise in test, emulation and optimization, coupled with their ability to create essential linkages between supportive 6G technologies, helps LG Electronics to bring innovations to life — from idea to design, development, manufacturing, deployment and operation."
Yeongho Je, vice president and head of Communication & Media Standard Lab at LG Electronics
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.