China plans to roll out 6G networks in 2030 and the new technology is expected to be up to 100 times faster than 5G, the country’s leading telecommunication expert has revealed.
Beijing this month kick-started research and development of the next-generation mobile internet connection.
The state-led initiatives were launched just days after superfast 5G networks became available to Chinese citizens.
‘6G will largely enter commercial stage at around 2030. [This] is a provisional judgement based on law of development, but is not certain,’ said Yang Yifeng, a member of the country’s 6G-developing team.
‘With the application of development of technology, many technologies will be used ahead of schedule during inter-generational transitions,’ Mr Yang added as he spoke to Chinese news outlet The Paper.
Mr Yang said the team would not rule out the possibility of launching 6G before 2030 should they find ‘advanced’ methods to fast-forward the process.
He stressed that experts were still in an early stage of ‘exploring’ the technology, but expected the speed of 6G to be 10 to 100 times faster than that of 5G.
China officially commenced its research and development of 6G technology on November 3, according to a government announcement.
The Chinese Technology Bureau selected 37 telecommunication specialists from universities, institutions and corporations to form a panel, which is tasked with laying out the development of 6G and proving the scientific feasibility of it.
Wang Xi, deputy minister of the Technology Bureau, said that the bureau was set to work with the experts to design a specific research plan for 6G and carry out preliminary research.
Huawei, the Chinese telecommunication giant, has also started its own research of 6G, according to its CEO Ren Zhengfei.
The 75-year-old entrepreneur, who is worth $1.3 billion (£1 billion) according to Forbes, claimed that his company had been developing 5G and 6G simultaneously, reported China Economic Weekly citing Mr Ren’s interview with a Saudi Arabian newspaper.
Speaking to The Economist in September, Mr Ren expected his firm to be a global leader of 6G.
He said: ‘I think Huawei will continue to take the lead when it comes to 6G research, but our judgment is that the commercial use of 6G won’t begin for at least 10 years.’
China’s three state-owned telecommunication carriers – China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom – this month launched their 5G data plans.
The country is due to activate more than 130,000 5G base stations by the end of this year to support the system, which is one of the world’s largest 5G deployments.
Chinese engineers have already built a ‘5G smart town’ near Shanghai, where residents will be able to download TV series, movies or games at an impressive speed of 1.7GB per second.
5G signal is sent out to the nooks and crannies of the 27-square-mile town of Wuzhen by more than 140 transmitters, which went into service recently.
The country is also on its way to completing a 5G-equipped high-speed train station, in collaboration with Huawei.