China has officially begun research for 6G wireless network standards, China’s Ministry of Science and Technology announced in a press release. The claim comes less than a week after Beijing presented the newest high-speed 5G standard.
The announcement was made in what was described as a 6G launch ceremony in Beijing on Sunday, attended by Vice Minister Wang Wei. The vice minister pointed out that “the current global 6G technology research is still in the initial stage of exploration, the technical route is still not clear, and the key indicators and application scenarios have not been uniformly defined,” according to the press release.
Wang Xi, deputy minister of China’s Technology Bureau said at the event that a team of 37 telecommunications specialists from universities, institutions and corporations has been gathered to create the general plan for 6G research and prove its technological feasibility, the report says.
Very little is determined regarding 6G communications currently. NetworkWorld’s Patrick Nelsons speculated that a future standard could take wireless networks to frequencies beyond 1THz (1,000 GHz), allowing for speeds of a whopping 100 gigabytes per second.
Under the newly-unveiled 5G standard, users can enjoy speeds of 1 to 1.7 gigabytes per second, which although paling in comparison to 6G expectations, is still many times faster than current 4G networks.
To demonstrate the recently-unveiled 5G standard, China created what it called a ‘5G Smart Town’ in 27-square miles town of Wuzhen near Shanghai. The town is covered using some 140 transmitters, the report says.
Before the end of this year, China plans to activate 130,000 5G base stations, one of the world’s largest 5G deployments, according to the Mail.
The 5G standard has become a point of fierce competition between China and the US, as the Trump administration seeks to ban Chinese tech companies from working on US 5G networks, saying these companies use their hardware to spy on the US on behalf of Beijing. Washington has applied pressure on its allies, such as Israel, in an effort to prevent them from cooperating with Chinese tech giants such as Huawei and ZTE on 5G deployment.