When I saw this, I must say it was the best Monday morning laugh I have had in a long time. In what universe (to paraphrase Sheldon Cooper from “Big Bang Theory” fame) is that going to happen? Well, it seems everybody is jumping on the 6G bandwagon of late.
India has had nothing but struggles to get 5G going. There have been reports after reports about how India is struggling with spectrum, regulations, infrastructure, and they want us to believe they can have 6G running by the end of 2023. Heck, they will not even auction off any advanced 5G spectrum until 2022 according to India’s Minister for Communication Ashwini Vaishnaw. Nor do they have a native 5G software for their core yet.
When it comes to spectrum, India is getting ready to auction off spectrum in bands starting as low as 700 MHz to 3,600 MHz bands. There is also mmWave spectrum in that pile.
Not that India does not have a wealth of intellectual capability. I see and publish bleeding-edge papers from them all of the time. So, it is not at all difficult to believe India can develop B5G technologies. However, understand that B5G is a wish list today. While there is certainly research and studies going on and, theses and antitheses’ being published, it is years away from any kind of congealed mass, or from, or platform, or technology, or whatever tangible something we can work with.
It also depends upon where we want to draw the B5G line. If we set a low bar for it, sure, maybe in a few years we will see some hardware that can up the ante for radiating elements. However, one must also remember that there is a wide gray area where 5G and B5G will coexist for years. In fact, I believe there will never be a distinct delimiter between the two. B5G will simply be the advancement of 5G until we find a different way to transmission information beyond wireless – and who knows when or even if that will ever occur. But there are some really interesting reads about this.
The news came from Vaishnaw who claims development work on B5G (as I like to call it) has already started. So, India now just joins a group of countries that are dipping their toes in the B5G waters. That is not news.
But to claim that working 6G will be seen in the next year to 18 months is, to me, pure hype, not even wishful thinking. Especially since the majority of other governments and private research is shooting for 2028 at the earliest. And that will likely be the evolution of advanced platforms in B5G by the inclusion of elements such as AI, XR (eXtended reality), Internet of Anything/Everything (IoX), autonomous vehicles, intelligent machines, and more.
Is it reasonable to expect to see the inklings of B5G by the end of the decade? I am confident that this is a reasonable schedule. But what we will see will only be a peak at 6G and more likely the maturation of 5G as it scales and evolves. True revolutionary wireless networks will likely be closer to 2035.
That is not to say that we will not see some amazing advancements in what wireless can accomplish (holographs for example). But these are being touted as being part of 5G as well, as are the other above-mentioned platforms/technologies.
Right now, just about anything goes with xG. There are no hard and fast lines in the sand where 5G ends and B5G begins. As I said earlier, there may never be. 5G will continue to evolve for at least a decade or two. Whether, at some point, we decide to call it something other than B5G is probably in the hands of the marketers and hypsters.