6G: the race is on!

The world has already tasted the power of 5G, though in my country we are still struggling with 4G. Personal grievances aside, the power of 5G is yet to bless the whole world with its might. But that doesn’t mean that the countries around the world are not eager to establish their dominance with the new technology.

But we are not talking about 5G here. That’s right, tech giants and governments around the world are already preparing themselves for the next big industrial revolution which will be brought forth by 6G.

Though still at least a decade away from becoming a reality, 6G — which could be up to 100 times faster than the peak speed of 5G — the country and the company which will be the first to develop this new telecommunication technology will be the ultimate winner of this race. Again, we struggle with 4G in my country, but it’s not like anybody cares.

Seriously though, the 6G technology is still only a theoretical proposition, but it is still enough to spark rivalries between already enemy countries like the U.S. and China. Under Trump, the Chinese tech market suffered a heavy blow, especially its 5G development.

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But the new race of 6G has determined Chinese tech companies, especially Huawei, to take on US-based vendors. However, it could also provide the US with the opportunity to regain lost ground in wireless technology.

“Unlike 5G, North America will not let the opportunity for a generational leadership slide by so easily this time. The competition for 6G leadership will likely be fiercer than that for 5G.”

But to the surprise of the world leaders, China is already moving forward with its plan for 6G development. In November, the country launched a satellite to test airwaves for potential 6G transmission, and Huawei has a 6G research centre in Canada. Telecommunications equipment manufacturer ZTE Corp. has teamed up with China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd. to develop 6G technology.

But the major hurdle for the advancement of Chinese tech giants is still the regulations imposed by the U.S. as witnessed in the case of ZTE; the United States has the power to nearly bankrupt the Chinese companies that are highly dependent on the U.S developed technologies.

“Currently China seems to be doing everything in terms of surveillance and suppression to make sure that they lose future markets in the U.S. and Europe. This indicates that the technical approach to 6G cannot be trusted to be decoupled from state ideological objectives.”

There is a growing lack of trust in how Chinese companies like Huawei use their technologies. Countries worldwide are growing increasingly worried about how 5G technology is being used by authoritarian regimes, with fears that 6G could enable technologies such as mass drone surveillance.

“Technological advances, especially those as futuristic and complex such as 6G radio communication should be developed carefully. We believe that countries cannot start soon enough. The private sector cannot start soon enough. And that is why we already have initiatives such as the Next G Alliance.”

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