Due to the fact that the 5G network is already here with us, it’s safe to refer to the 6G network as the next generation of mobile network.

So, what are the possibilities of the 6G network being made available in Nigeria? And when should Nigerians expect this next generation of mobile network?

In November 2019, MTN Nigeria, Nigeria’s biggest mobile network provider commenced the trial of its 5G network in three cities. MTN announced during the launch that the trial will run for three months and will be extended to four other cities, and will utilise the trial spectrum allocated to the company by the Nigeria Communications Commission.

We know nothing about when the 5G network will be rolled out in full across the country. MTN, however, did state during the launch that it will continue rolling out the 3G and the 4G LTE networks across the country for the next few years, indicating that 2020 and beyond is not going to be all about the 5G or the next generation 6G network in Nigeria.

So, if 5G will remain a dream to most Nigerians for many years to come, is it not out of place to start discussing 6G network? Due to the fact that there is nothing like a waste of knowledge, let’s take a look at what 6G network is all about.

What is 6G?

Nothing is known about 6G right now except that it is expected to be the next generation of mobile network after 5G. With the introduction of the 5G network, this is the next standard in mobile network that the world is heading for.

We don’t even know yet if the next generation of mobile network will be called 6G. It might be something like Advanced 5G or just G. The world might, before its arrival, get bored of adding numbers to any new mobile network experience and just refer to them as a better network, or a better connection.

Late last year, the People’s Republic of China launched research and development work for the next generation of mobile network, few weeks after turning on the 5G network. The country set up two working groups to take charge of the project, with one group promoting how the R&D work will be carried out and the other, which consists of universities and research institutes, laying out the technicalities involved with the 6G network.

Also in September 2019, the CEO of telecommunications giant, Huawei Technologies, Ren Zhengfei disclosed that his company is working on a 6G network. He went further to explain that the development is still in its early phase and a long way to go before commercialization.

Due to the fact that this very fact that 6G network is still in planning phase, its technical route, key indicators, and application scenarios are not yet defined. The 6G network is still a long way to go, so the only sure thing about it is our hope that it ushers in a better mobile network experience than the 5G network.

What will 6G be like? Will it be different from 5G?

The 6G network hopes to be an upgrade of the 5G network, so we hope it offers a more differentiated experience from 5G.

All our need for mobile network will be greatly enhanced. We already know that the 5G will make smartphones more capable of doing many things, transform entire industries and sectors with its lower latency capabilities, and support the development of technologies we don’t yet know about. 6G network will do much better. It’s expected to improve on the achievements of the 5G network through lower latency, higher reliability, and higher use case. In fact, the 6G network has already been referred to as the “sixth sense experience for humans and machines”.

When will 6G be available?

The 6G network, or the next generation of mobile network after 5G, is expected to be rolled out commercially around 2030. This is when mobile network providers around the world will start rolling out the next gen network experience at trial stage, and when phone manufacturers will also start rolling out 6G capable phones.

The development and implementation of a new mobile network takes years, so 2030 is not actually the year network providers will start working on 6G. Work has started already, and will begin in ernest once the 5G network has been rolled out fully and its possible pitfalls can be identified. This will take us to around 2030 when 6G is expected to go on trial.

Will 6G be available in Nigeria?

The 6G network will be available in Nigeria, like all the previous mobile networks, but don’t ask me when. Rollout of a new mobile network is always slow, and this is also the case with Nigeria.There are rules to debate and deal with, frequency bands to debate over, and spectrum licenses to purchase, and these all take time and resources.

5G network in Nigeria is powered by foreign coys like Huawei, ZTE, and Ericsson, and 6G network is not expected to be any different. Local and international politics are a huge factor in across the border business dealings, and this could be against or for Nigeria’s interest in acquiring the technology for the Sixth generation of mobile network. All things being equal, however, the 6G network will be available in Nigeria as soon as it is available to the rest of the world.

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