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What To Expect From 6G

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

6G potential capabilities and use cases explained

What to Expect from 6G

We have not yet finished implementing and deploying 5G networks, but the industry has already started preparing the next generation of Mobile Technologies, the 6G.

Mobile Network Evolution - How We Got From 1G To Beyond 5G?

Mobile Networks have evolved significantly, progressing through generations to meet the increasing demands for faster data speeds, lower latency, improved reliability, and enhanced connectivity.

1G (First Generation): In the 1980s, 1G Networks were analogue-based and provided basic voice calling capabilities. These are characterised by low-quality voice transmission and limited coverage.

2G (Second Generation): Introduced in the 1990s, 2G Networks were digital and brought significant improvements over 1G. They introduced features like text messaging (SMS), allowing more efficient spectrum use.

3G (Third Generation): In the early 2000s, 3G Networks brought faster data speeds and enabled mobile internet access. They supported video calling, mobile web browsing, and multimedia streaming services.

4G (Fourth Generation): Deployed in the late 2000s, 4G Networks significantly improved data speeds, capacity, and overall performance. They enabled the widespread adoption of services like high-definition video streaming, mobile gaming, and video conferencing.

5G (Fifth Generation): Introduced in the 2010s, 5G Networks represent a substantial leap in mobile technology. 5G offers significantly faster data speeds, ultra-low latency, massive device connectivity, and network slicing capabilities. It enables new applications like autonomous vehicles, IoT deployments, augmented (AR), and virtual reality (VR). 5G utilises advanced technologies such as mmWave (millimeter wave) and Massive MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) to achieve its performance targets.

6G (Sixth Generation) of wireless technology, following 5G. It is still under development, but it is expected to offer significant improvements over 5G in terms of speed, capacity, and latency.

Each new generation of Mobile Networks has brought significant advancements, transforming how people communicate, access information, and interact with digital services. These evolutions have driven innovation across various industries, enabling new business models and opportunities for economic growth.

Network Evolution

Key Features and Benefits of 6G

Some of the key features of 6G that are being investigated include:

  • Higher frequencies: 6G is expected to use higher frequencies than 5G, such as the terahertz band. This will allow for much higher data rates and pose challenges, such as shorter range and higher attenuation.

  • Massive MIMO: 6G is expected to use massive MIMO, a technique that utilises many antennas to transmit and receive signals. This will allow for more efficient spectrum use and improved performance in crowded areas.

  • Advanced signal processing: 6G is expected to use advanced signal processing techniques to improve performance in challenging environments, such as those with high interference levels.

  • New networking architectures: 6G is expected to use new networking architectures that are more scalable and efficient than those used in 5G.

6G Benefits

The potential benefits of 6G include:

  • Ultra-high speeds: 6G is expected to offer data rates of up to 1 Tbps, 1000 times faster than 5G. This will enable new applications such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and real-time video streaming.

  • Ultra-low latency: 6G is expected to offer less than 1-microsecond latency, which is 1000 times lower than 5G. This will enable new applications such as self-driving cars and remote surgery.

  • Massive connectivity: 6G is expected to support many devices, such as billions of connected sensors. This will enable new applications like the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities.

The commercial launch of 6G is not expected until the early 2030s. However, research and development are underway, and some countries have announced plans to start testing 6G Networks.


6G User Cases

6G Use Cases

The identification of 6G use cases is key to predicting major future technological trends, and according to MGMN Alliance:

"A total of 50 use cases were identified, categorised into 4 Classes: Enhanced Human Communication, Enhanced Machine Communication, Enabling Services, Network Evolution."

1. Immersive Extended Reality (XR): 6G is expected to enhance the capabilities of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) applications. It could enable highly immersive XR experiences with ultra-high-resolution visuals, realistic haptic feedback, and seamless real-time interactions.

2. Holographic Communications: 6G Networks may enable advanced holographic communications, allowing people to project and interact with realistic 3D holograms of individuals or objects in real time. This could revolutionise teleconferencing, remote collaboration, and virtual presence experiences.

Technology blogger and influencer Bernard Marr predicts:

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,” “We will be able to meet in groups and even express body language in real-time."

3. Ultra-High-Definition Content Streaming: With the increased data speeds and capacity of 6G, streaming services could deliver content in even higher resolutions and quality. This could include 8K or higher resolution videos, high-fidelity audio streaming, and seamless multi-angle and multi-camera experiences.

4. Internet of Things (IoE) at Scale: 6G is expected to support massive-scale deployments of IoE devices, enabling billions or even trillions of connected devices. This could facilitate smart cities, industrial automation, precision agriculture, and a wide range of IoE applications with ultra-reliable and low-latency connectivity.

According to Khan et al.:

"Internet of everything (IoE)-based smart services are expected to gain immense popularity in the future, which raises the need for next-generation wireless networks. Although fifth-generation (5G) Networks can support various IoE services, they might not be able to completely fulfill the requirements of novel applications. Sixth-generation (6G) wireless systems are envisioned to overcome 5G Network limitations."

5. Autonomous Systems and Robotics: 6G Networks could significantly advance autonomous systems, including self-driving vehicles, drones, and robotics. The ultra-low latency and high-speed communication capabilities enable real-time data exchange and decision-making, enhancing safety and efficiency.

6. Smart Infrastructure and Energy Management: 6G could enable intelligent and interconnected infrastructure systems, such as smart grids, smart transportation networks smart buildings. This would optimise resource allocation, improve energy efficiency, and support sustainable development. Ericsson has produced interesting research on Designing a sensor-driven world with zero-energy devices.

7. Healthcare and Rehab: 6G could revolutionise healthcare delivery by enabling remote surgeries, real-time monitoring of patients, and telemedicine applications with high-resolution video and haptic feedback for doctors. It could extend healthcare access to remote areas and improve patient outcomes.

The UK government has released a paper on Wireless 2030 exploring the theoretical outlook and expected level of maturity. For Healthcare Monitoring, they have rated higher than performing procedures by 2030.

Similarly, in Germany, Vodafone Germany is co-investing in 6G R&D, taking a public-private partnership approach in the health sector. 6G Health, announced in October 2022 and running to 2025, has a total of €12.87m, with 75% contributed by Germany’s Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (Ministry of Education & Research/BMBF).

A “modern” 6G network, the BMBF said, “opens up a wide range of perspectives and can make a decisive contribution to increasing quality of life and relieving the burden on the healthcare sector”.

It's important to note that these use cases are speculative and based on the anticipated capabilities of 6G technology. As research and development progress, new use cases may emerge, and industry needs and technological advancements will further define the specific applications of 6G.

How can SmartViser help?

SmartViser has been supporting several Mobile Network operators worldwide in their challenge to successfully deploy 5G Networks. Some of the areas SmartViser's Test Automation solution can support are:

  1. Network performance testing: This involves testing the performance of the 5G network, including throughput, latency, and reliability.

  2. User experience testing: This involves testing the user experience of 5G services, such as streaming video or playing games, to ensure that they meet user expectations and provide a superior quality of experience.

  3. Network coverage testing: This involves testing the coverage of the 5G network in different locations and environments to ensure that it provides reliable service to users.

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Debbie Bouffler




Susie CCO

Susie Siouti is the Chief Commercial Officer for SmartViser, helping organisations in the Telecommunications industry offer superior end-user quality of experience and service by introducing innovative test automation products. Susie has 20 years of experience in the Telecoms industry and, in that time, has led teams across the world, mainly in Testing and Compliance. Holding an MBA from Henley Business School brings diverse skills and expertise, including business acumen, strategic thinking, financial management, sales and marketing expertise, leadership, and innovation.

Susie joined SmartViser in 2016 and is part of the internal steering committee responsible for developing and implementing the company's commercial strategy and encouraging a customer-centric culture. The main mission is to help organisations to create value by offering better quality products and services by improving operational efficiency and innovation.

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