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5G to 6G: Tracing the evolution of wireless technology

Wireless Technology is quickly changing every day, and the pace of change is only accelerating. To address these rapid changes, telcos must keep up with the latest communication trends and technology to transition from the 5G era to 6G.  

However, the transition won’t be easy as the communications fabric will need to be architected differently. So how can telcos start preparing for this?

Read on to learn more about the key drivers emerging for the 6G era, its architecture and technical features, and how it will push beyond the technical limits of 5G and enable its use cases.

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6G network architecture

While 6G is a long time away, research on the new technology has already begun. And although it’s still in its early stages, we can already see changes in the Telco industry’s value chain, network architecture, and competitive landscape.

The new network will be characterized by ultra-wideband, ultra-low latency, and ultra-intelligence, which will operate at higher frequencies and provide a much higher capacity. One of its main goals is to support one-microsecond latency communication, which is 1,000 times faster than the current latency at one millisecond.

This level of capacity and latency will extend the performance of 5G use cases with improved AI capabilities and more support for sophisticated mobile devices.

Key drivers emerging for the 6G era

Based on our research, human augmentation and digital-physical connection will be two of the most important drivers that will dominate network traffic and define the evolution of networks. However, there are other key drivers with corresponding challenges that are emerging for the 6G era:

  • Trustworthiness: trusted communication and computing for a society and its industries relying on critical information.
  • Sustainability: communication and networks enabling sustainable development.
  • Simplified living: massive uses of AI and accelerated automatization across systems.
  • Meeting the demands: limitless connectivity that enables intensified communication anywhere, anytime, and for anything.

So if we break those drivers into categories, we can say that sustainability will be on top, followed by the advancement of technology or improving the current network standards and then evolution to do everything we do now better and faster.

Therefore, to meet these future challenges, 6G must advance beyond 5G’s technical limitations and move towards critical services, immersive communication, and omnipresent IoT.

New 6G services to enable 5G use cases

By 2030, we will have been shaped by 5G for ten years, which means it will have reached its full maturity. Lessons will have been learned from its deployment, and new needs and services will emerge despite its flexibility.

It is not adequate to meet the complete requirements of the new smart applications. And while 5G continues to break through with technologies and opportunities for many different use cases, the development will not stop here.

Researchers worldwide are working hard on developing the 6G network and how it can enable the 5G use cases. The new era will provide more connected devices as more applications in healthcare, agriculture, hospitality, education, and gaming are expected to be enabled by high data, low latency, and high reliability.

6G will eliminate the physical and temporal distance between people through new and innovative applications in wireless connectivity, cognition, sensing, and holographic imaging. Powered by AI, the network will enable automated infrastructure optimization and autonomous service provisioning.

This means it will dynamically monitor, improve, optimize and enhance many different processes through:

  • widespread use of digital twins through embedded sensors
  • exact real-time replicas of physical processes
  • virtual models using past and present data with machine learning
  • unified network ecosystem to connect users to everything
  • confidential computing and Zero Trust Architecture for more security and privacy

6G will practically enable instant communication without any latencies leading to holistic omnichannel connectivity between the physical and digital worlds.

How to meet the future challenges of wireless technology

Many telcos around the world are under pressure to evolve their businesses and incorporate innovation in all areas of their organizations.

As we continue developing the network standards for 5G followed by 6G, telcos need to take this opportunity and regain control of the network by expanding their product stack and ultimately building solid relationships with subscribers.

Here are three ways how you can get started:

1. Diversify product stack and expand into new business areas to create new revenue streams

Partnering with a cloud communications provider like Infobip will help you enable 360-degree connectivity with the right platform to support it. We have created the Enterprise Partnership model specifically to help operators build an omnichannel offering for their enterprise customers.

The omnichannel platform is already helping many mobile operators build a service offering without major investment and expenditure.

2. Leverage machine learning technology and chat apps to provide a better customer experience

Choosing the right omnichannel platform can help your enterprise customers turn visions into realities. By integrating innovative technology and new digital channels with their existing customer engagement and support applications, they will be able to create personalized, automated, and media-rich conversational experiences all through a single platform.

3. Cost optimization: Invest in new technologies to lower operational costs

New technologies make telco operations more efficient than ever. Intelligent data management, automated customer support, and personalized customer engagement are just some areas that telecoms can benefit from.

Our platform provides telcos with an entire omnichannel communication stack coupled with a professional CX consultancy team dedicated to onboarding new enterprise clients.

Shaping the future for Telcos

6G is a chance for us to redevelop the telco approach to radicalization and build our business strategies into the network. As we progress with 5G, it’s time for you to deliver the network and explore the full potential of all revenue streams available.  

Don’t be afraid to approach new industries. Focus on growing your business, adopting new technology, retaining customers, and reducing operational costs to stay relevant in the market.

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