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What Comes After 5G?

September 11, 2018 By Molly White in

The inevitable has happened: The discussion about what comes after 5G has begun. A Japan News report highlights news that the Japanese Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry will start work next year on a standard that will come after 5G wireless.

The report does not say what the prospective standard will be called. It presumably could carry a label such as “5G Advanced” or 6G. The report says that the goal is to commercialize the standard around 2025. The ministry plans a budget request of a bit more than 1 billion yen, which is $9.01 million in U.S. currency, for four years of research and development.

What Comes After 5G?

According to the story, today’s 5G will be susceptible to obstacles such as walls and rain, and current 5G equipment tends to consume more electricity because of the high data rates it supports. Issues such as these must be addressed to enable 5G to fully support applications such as autonomous vehicles and fully robotic construction sites, the story says.

What the story describes is the latest example of a cycle we often see in telecom as research and development cycles become shorter. As one core technology is commercialized, research aimed at smoothing out the rough spots and planning the next generation of technology is undertaken behind the scenes. We have already seen this occur with LTE Advanced, for example, which offers many of the same advantages of 5G.