5G is now here… but research for 6G has already began!

After years of hype and anticipation, 5G is finally here and available to paying customers.

EE were first to launch the new next-generation 5G network and they did so with style, with a concert by rapper Stormzy live-streamed from a boat on the River Thames.

They are launching their 5G network in the busiest areas of Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, and Manchester. Later this year other areas will join including Bristol, Coventry, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Sheffield.

On the contrast, Vodafone is kicking off its 5G network in parts of Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London. Later this year it will flick the switch in Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington, and Wolverhampton.

With a new network comes new capabilities, from broadband-like speeds on your phone, improved downloading and uploading speeds, and for IoT (Internet of Things) the ability for companies to control devices remotely in a much more efficient and faster way than currently possible.

However, all this upgraded technology comes with an upgraded price tag for consumers. You will need to have a compatible 5G phone (which itself could set you back a few bob) and currently, EE’s lowest-priced deal will set you back £54 a month plus a one-off £170 fee for a handset. This will include 10GB of data a month, which can be used up quickly if you download lots of movies or games.

Mainstream adoption of the new network is going to take a few years but it is expected that by 2024, there will be over 1.5 billion of us connected to 5G, according to Ericsson, a company that makes some of the infrastructure that will make all this possible.

…Now that the talk about 5G is over, we can now focus our attention on 6G. Yes, 6G.

It has been reported that Samsung have already began ‘leading research on the 6G network’. The company, via its website, has confirmed that discussions on 6G and its needs are taking place in countries such as Europe, China, and the United States, with the first research projects already in its starting phase.

With many countries yet to roll out their 5G services and allowing for mass adoption lag, it’s likely that, based on the 3G and 4G timetables, we won’t see 6G as commonplace until around 2030. That being said, early rumours suggest it will be worth the wait as 6GB is likely to be the first standard to use machine learning for intelligent capacity and routing management and could yield speeds up to 1TB.

This is very exciting news for the tech and comms world and we will be sure to keep you up to date with any updates.