Upgrading to 6G deemed too costly despite heated discussion
A veteran telecommunications industry expert said that upgrading to 6G is costly and impractical at present stage despite ongoing discussions about the new technology, and that 5G remains the industry's current focus.
"Each generational upgrade of wireless technology is immensely costly for society and it is ultimately the consumers who foot the bills for such upgrades," Ge Qi, vice president of cloud robot system provider CloudMinds, told the Global Times on Saturday at the 8th Sanya Forum in Sanya, a resort city in South China's Hainan Province.
Ge, formerly a senior executive at the Global System for Mobile Communications Association, made the remarks while asked to comment on 6G.
Some experts have said that China, which is a leader in commercial 5G deployment, could win the 6G race amid increasingly intense technological competition with the US.
The development of 5G is still in its preliminary stage. To date, a total of 22 countries and regions have commenced commercial 5G services, said Ge.
He added that the current global user base for 5G has expanded to 5 million people, accounting for about 0.1 percent of global mobile-services users.
South Korea, which was the first country to launch commercial 5G services in April, has 4 million 5G users thus far. However, users are consuming on average only 28 gigabytes (GB) per month from packages offering at least 100 GB of data transmission.
"A 'hard' technological upgrade for telecoms carriers or the industry as a whole, which comes every 10 years or so, costs so much that I would prefer the 6G era to emerge at a later date," Ge said.
Such an argument is supported by the evolving theory of people's basic needs, which currently tend to include the access to telecommunications services.
The fact of the matter is that connecting the world's population needs a low-cost, economically sustainable solution.