Google and Apple join Next G Alliance, years ahead of commercial 6G

You may still be struggling to get a 3G signal where you are, let alone 5G, but get with the program, square – 6G is where it’s at, at least if you’re Google and Apple. Both companies have joined the US trade group The Next G Alliance, a collection of potential 6G stakeholders, due to convene for the first time this week. The group, managed by ATIS, a trade association, operates with a goal to “advance North American mobile technology leadership in 6G and beyond over the next decade while building on the long-term evolution of 5G.”

Google and Apple have joined just weeks after launching their first 5G devices, showing just how far ahead companies are having to think to keep up with the technology. The terrible twosome joins Charter Communications, Cisco, HPE, Intel, Keysight Technologies, LG Electronics, Mavenir, MITRE, and VMWare, according to a report from Light Reading. They join founders from AT&T Bell Canada, Ciena, Ericsson, Facebook, Interdigital, JMA Wireless, Microsoft, Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung, Telus, Telnyx, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Verizon.

So far, only Ericsson, Samsung, and Huawei have made any kind of comprehensive statement of intent over 6G. Huawei isn’t currently eligible to join the group due to current sanctions, but in a strange way inspired its formation. The group is hoping to prevent any delays or fractures in the 6G roadmap caused by the current suspicion between the US and China. Failure to improve relations could eventually lead to two completely incompatible 6G rollouts, with consumers the eventual losers, and so collaboration in these early stages is vital.

At present, the proposed 6G bandwidth is unlicensed, and by the time we see any kind of public use for the slice of spectrum, expected around 2030, the world could be a very different place. After all, we’re only just learning what 5G can do.

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