FEED Autumn 2023 Web

Words by Jeffrey Metzger

6G is predicted to enhance metaverse-related technology like VR and AR. But what will a high-quality 6G experience look like exactly?

ach year, smartphone manufacturers release devices that tout exciting ‘new’ capabilities. In reality, the evolution of

the phone has been measured and incremental, with larger steps forward being the addition of the touchscreen and upping the number of cameras. Operationally, smartphones are limited by processing power and transmission bandwidths – neither of which are infinite – so even as operators roll out 5G, faster speed alone will not win over consumers. For modern media consumption, these are table stakes; it’s expected that a service includes high-speed, reliable mobile internet. With consumer expectations high, what does this mean for the next generation of wireless? For 6G, we need to focus on multisensory-enabled experiential interactions if we hope to impress users. According to Omdia, a third of consumers are willing to pay a premium of 6% or more on top of their standard broadband fees to obtain better- quality digital experiences. 6G represents more than just faster 5G: it brings sensory capabilities that are expected to include more complex analytical insights, distributed control over more connected objects and an expanded range of digital-human interactions. Unlike 5G, it will manage the complex co-dependencies between chipsets, devices, applications, platforms, networks and a range of interdependent technologies, such as haptics. DEFINING 6G While development is underway, and standards bodies like the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) are already outlining what 6G will look like, we won’t see it for some time yet. The first 6G technical specification is expected to finish in 2028, with commercial deployments to begin in 2030. And 6G isn’t here to replace 5G. Just as 4G and 5G have – and will continue to – coexisted for some time, 6G and 5G will too. 6G will improve on existing 5G technology pillars, delivering better enhanced


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