America Prepares for 6G After Atrocious 5G Rollout

5G mobile mast in front of a blue and cloudy sky
Credit: Getty Images

5G mobile mast in front of a blue and cloudy sky
Credit: Getty Images

Although 5G networks still feel like new technology, all eyes are on 6G to see how mobile networks can improve over the next few years. The United States' National Telecommunications and Information Administration is already seeking comments as early development starts for 6G, despite the fact that 5G has been a major disappointment.

If you have a handset like the Samsung S24 or you're hoping to get the upcoming iPhone 16, you'll have 5G compatibility. Many of the best cheap phones also offer 5G support, but most people you talk to about 5G will likely say "meh" at best, or call it an utter disappointment at worst.

While the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (via The Verge) is looking into 6G development, with new generations of wireless networks emerging about every decade, 5G hasn't been the monumental step we all hoped for. In both the US and the UK, 5G's rollout has been disappointing, with limited coverage and even slower speeds compared to some 4G areas.

Since 5G uses a higher frequency than 4G, its range is more limited, making it harder to get a consistent signal. Even in major cities, it can be difficult to stay connected. Add on the fact that the speeds are also fairly disappointing for most users, and you have an overwhelming majority of people feeling negatively towards 5G.

5G has been rolling out commercially for half a decade, becoming active in late 2018 with AT&T. In an AT&T-sponsored post from TechBuzz, an article about the history of mobile data networks promised that 5G would "launch the next digital revolution and take us far beyond smartphones and Internet connectivity," stating that "5G is so fast, it will enhance machine-to-machine connectivity in a new automated society, using technologies such as AI." However, even five years later, we have yet to see that promise fulfilled.

Given 5G's disappointing rollout, we hope that 6G fares much better. However, we don't have high hopes just yet, but maybe we will see some huge changes that will make 6G worth adopting.

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