21st-century living is strongly shaped by the need for speed.
While the 5G wireless network has barely taken off the ground, wireless communication companies have already started talking about the next network to come.
Technically, the 6G mobile network does not exist yet.
But theoretically speaking, several countries such as China, the US, South Korea, Japan, and some others from Europe have already prepared experimental networks and teams for research on 6G technology.
In a recent study at Jacobs University Bremen in Germany, the researchers Razvan-Andrei Stoica and Giuseppe Abreu outlined what limitations of 5G will drive the rise of the 6G technology.
Whether 6G will drive at 5G or work simultaneously, both networks will operate at more complex levels.
The complexity of these technologies needs a level of assurance that a human alone is incapable of ensuring.
This is why- from diagnosing networks to cybersecurity to personalized applications for benefiting industries, Artificial Intelligence will underpin the fifth and sixth generations of mobile networks.
The integration of AI in these networks is an area of incredible interest that many experts have already begun exploring.
So, let us also dig in a little deeper to find out what the future of 5G and 6G networks looks like with AI.
Before we get there, let’s start with some interesting bits of information about 5G and 6G.
What are the 5G and 6G Networks?
5G is the fifth generation of broadband cellular networks and the successor of the 4G network that provides connectivity to most cellular phones today.
The deployment of 5G began in 2019, only in selected locations where it provides limited coverage to cities.
Compared to 4G networks, 5G operates at a higher speed and lower latency (the time a signal takes to travel a network), carrying more information faster.
Yet, the 5G network is in its early adoption phase.
As a successor to the 5G network, the 6G network will be the new face of connectivity. This incredibly fast network is touted to digitize our everyday life- from self-driving vehicles to medical hardware and even home appliances.
We will see 6G operate at terahertz frequency bands to deliver data at a peak rate with a latency of fewer than 100 microseconds.
According to Mahyar Shirvanimoghaddam (wireless communications expert at the University of Sydney), the 6G network has the potential to give us the speed of 8,000 gigabits (or 1 terabyte) per second.
This would be the fastest cellular network in history.
When Will 6G Go Live?
Typically, it takes a 10-year leap between these generational technologies to develop.
It was in the 1980s, we had 1G that brought wireless communication. In the 1990s, there was 2G to make voice and digital communication possible. In the 2000s, there was 3G to unlock mobile data, and then in the 2010s, we saw 4G giving us the mobile internet experience.
Then, in the 2020s, we saw 5G. So far, it is the latest network technology release running at a speed of gigabits per second range with a latency of nearly five milliseconds. It is capable of providing connection to millions of devices per 5G network station.
Following that, the 2030s is the time when we can expect the commercial rollout of 6G.
With two or three more years in deployment, depending on the size of the coutnries, 2032 or 2033 may be the time we could see full adoption and application of this network.
Will 5G and 6G Internet Need AI to Succeed?
Very few other technologies are as complimentary as AI to 5G and 6G networks.
The integration of AI into these networks could enable transformative improvements and support instantaneous communication between devices, consumers, vehicles, and the surroundings.
Many companies have already incorporated some aspects of AI into their 5G network to cut back on expenditures, optimize network performance, and build more revenue streams.
AI will also complement the 6G network to realize the full potential of our 6G future.
But, how is AI so synergetic to both networks?
Potentially, 5G and 6G networks are firehouses of data that AI will then analyze and train on to develop unique experiences to meet users’ multitudinous needs.
Both networks can benefit from AI in several ways, two of which are:
Automating Mundane Tasks
AI will help service providers from 5G and 6G ecosystems leverage their most important resources more efficiently by automating iterative processes.
Frankly, it is imperative for every industry to use AI to automate away as many low-level processes as possible.
When it comes to 5G specifically, the network diagnostic checklist must be automated to instantly troubleshoot the numerous issues arising in its complex systems, including video quality, audio gaps, latency issues, and more.
To handle these issues, AI will take the front role and free up personnel, shifting their focus to higher-value tasks.
Additionally, AI will facilitate more coordination by increasing the scalability of 5G for future workplaces.
Discovering Beyond What Humans Can
The 5G ecosystem is complex, diverse, and multi-dimensional. It provides accessibility based on factors such as mobile network operator, location, and device type.
Human recognition alone is capable of navigating such complexity to a limitation. But, AI has the potential to navigate it faster with better accuracy than a human could.
AI has evolved to such an extent that it can make 5G (and even 6G) connectivity predictive and proactive to increase network availability and provide a uniform user experience.
In particular, AI will be indispensable for 5G in cybersecurity. The 5G network is decentralized. As it will be trusted with more sensitive applications, the surface for attack will become larger, making it hard to protect applications that operate on edge.
Given the incredible sensitivity of applications, it will be of utmost importance to have AI automatically detect any potential interference. With AI technology, 5G will reduce potential vector attacks on applications.
Whether it is the evolution from 4G to 5G or 5G to 6G, the transition between network generations is not going to happen overnight.
One thing is clear, though, AI is the underlying force that will lessen the complexity existing in the present or future of these intricate network ecosystems.
AI goes hand in hand with 5G or 6G technologies to fill the gaps.
So, no matter how fast these generations of networks run, they will still need technologies like AI (and even machine learning and computer vision) to reach their peak and serve consumers uninterrupted experiences.