Forget 5G, because the US and China are competing fiercely on the 6G “front”
- Tram Ho
Most of the world has yet to experience the benefits of 5G, but the geopolitical race for the next big innovation in telecommunications technology is heating up.
For companies and governments, the market share is limited. The first to develop and patent 6G would be the biggest winner in what some call the next industrial revolution. While it’s at least a decade away, 6G – believed to be 100 times faster than 5G’s maximum speed – could provide the kind of technology that has long been in the department. science fiction, from real-time holograms, flying taxis, to the internet connection of the human body and brain.
The 6G controversy has intensified even though it is still a theoretical proposition, and it is a testament to how geopolitics drive technological competition, especially between the US and China.
“This effort is so important that it becomes an arms race to some extent,” said Peter Vetter, head of access and equipment at Bell Labs at Nokia Oyj’s research arm. It will require an army of researchers to remain competitive. ”
The bitter years of the Trump administration have heavily affected Chinese tech companies, but that hasn’t stopped the country from being at the forefront of 5G technology. Despite many US denial attempts, Huawei has overtaken rival 5G providers globally, mainly by offering attractive prices.
The development of 6G could give the US the opportunity to regain its lost position in wireless technology.
“Unlike for 5G, North America won’t allow a generation of leaders to slip,” said Vikrant Gandhi, senior director of information and communications technology at the consulting firm Frost & Sullivan in the US. Competition for the 6G lead will be fiercer than 5G. ”
Apparently 6G was on the minds of policymakers in both Washington and Beijing. For example, former President Donald Trump tweeted in early 2019 that he wanted 6G “as soon as possible”.
China is in the lead. The country launched a satellite in November to test air waves for 6G transmission and Huawei has a 6G research center in Canada, Canadian media reported. Telecommunication equipment maker ZTE Corp has also partnered with China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd. to develop this technology.
The US has proven that it is capable of seriously detrimental to Chinese companies, as in the case of ZTE, which almost collapsed after the Commerce Department banned the purchase of US technology for three months in the year. 2018. Similar moves could hamper Huawei’s 6G ambitions.
Washington has begun drafting a 6G line. The Telecommunications Industry Solutions Alliance, an American telecom standards developer known as ATIS, launched the Next G Alliance in October to “elevate North American leadership in 6G technology.” The members of the alliance include tech giants like Apple Inc., AT&T Inc., Qualcomm Inc., Google and Samsung Electronics Co., but without Huawei.
This alliance reflects how the world has been divided into opposition factions due to the competition of 5G. Led by the US, which identifies Huawei as a espionage risk – an accusation denied by the Chinese giant but countries such as Japan, Australia, Sweden and the United Kingdom have shut the company down. their 5G network. However, Huawei is welcome in Russia, the Philippines, Thailand and other countries in Africa and the Middle East.
The European Union in December also announced a 6G wireless project led by Nokia, which includes companies like Ericsson AB and Telefonica SA, as well as universities.
Lack of trust in Chinese companies like Huawei is unlikely to alleviate in the 6G sector. Western countries are increasingly worried about how 5G technology is being used by authoritarian regimes, with concerns that 6G could enable technologies such as mass surveillance with drones. China has used surveillance cameras – AI, facial recognition, and biometrics such as voice patterns and DNA to track and control citizens.
“Right now, China seems to be doing everything about surveillance to make sure it is,” said Paul Timmers, senior adviser at the European Policy Center and former digital director based in Brussels. only lost futures markets in the US and Europe. This shows that the technical approach to 6G cannot be separated from the state ideological goals. ”
While the commercialization of 5G was introduced around 2019, countries are still rolling out networks and developing applications that can attract businesses and turn technology into profits. Likewise, 6G may not reach its potential for at least 15 years from now, said Frost & Sullivan’s Gandhi. There are currently only about 100 wireless carriers around the world offering 5G services in limited areas.
But researchers have an ambitious vision of what the next-generation network can offer. With a potential rate of 1 terabyte per second, 6G is not only much faster, but also promises a lag of just 0.1 milliseconds, compared to 1 millisecond for 5G. To that end, scientists are focusing on ultra-high frequency terahertz waves that can fulfill those speed and latency requirements, though no chip is capable of transmitting a lot of data yet. like that for a second.
Network differences (Source: Bloomberg)
It’s too early to tell if the future world will have 6G. In that theoretical world, everything in our environment will be connected to the 6G network – not only can people communicate with things like furniture and clothes, but those gadgets can also deliver. next together.
There are many major scientific hurdles – for example, researchers have to tackle the question of how air waves traveling over extremely short distances can easily penetrate materials like steam or even. a sheet of paper. Networks can need to be extremely dense, with multiple base stations installed not just on every street, but also in every building or even every device people use to receive and transmit signals. That raises serious questions about health, privacy, and urban design.
“Technological advances, especially future and complex advances such as 6G radio communications should be carefully developed. We believe countries cannot start anytime soon. The private sector does not. And that’s why we’ve got initiatives like the NextG Alliance, “says Gandhi.
According to Bloomberg
Source : Genk