5G deployment has barely begun, but China is already looking at its inevitable successor. Researchers with the Ministry of Science and Technology have started studying 6G, which is supposed to offer ludicrous speeds.
Just how fast can this next-generation wireless network go? Well, the University of Sydney’s Dr. Mahyar Shirvanimoghaddam claims that its theoretical speed is a rather insane one terabyte a second. That’s around 8,000 times faster than what 5G is capable of.
Assuming that expert’s estimate is accurate, 6G would allow users to download almost thirteen of today’s biggest 4K movie rips (~80 GB) in a single second. That’s arguably overkill for the average mobile user, but these speeds would be very nice for mobile and fixed wireless broadband. (Although it’s hard to imagine anything beating the consistency of a wired connection.)
Needless to say, nobody should expect 6G any time soon. A next-generation cellular network could easily take over a decade to get up and running. Researchers have also warned that it will require big improvements in “materials science, computer architecture, chip design, and energy use.”