In Business Model, Internet Access, Mobile

It is not too hard to find critics who say 6G being overhyped, as was 5G. Though true, such criticism also is largely irrelevant. On either fixed or mobile networks, we see major upgrades of capacity at least every decade. For mobile operators, that coincides with the launch of a next-generation network.

The fixed network process is less structured, but still happens. Edholm’s Law states that internet access bandwidth at the top end increases at about the same rate as Moore’s Law suggests computing power will increase. Basically, that results in an order of magnitude (10 times) increase in the headline internet access bandwidth about every five to six years.

Nielsen’s Law essentially is the same as Edholm’s Law, predicting an increase in the headline speed of about 50 percent per year.

Ignore all the hype about new services. Fixed and mobile networks have to keep increasing bandwidth every decade. On fixed networks, bandwidth increases by an order of magnitude about every five years.

Nielsen’s Law, like Edholm’s Law, suggests a headline speed of 10 Gbps will be commercially available by about 2025, so the commercial offering of 2-Gbps and 5-Gbps is right on the path to 10 Gbps.

source: NCTA

Headline speeds in the 100-Gbps range should be commercial sometime around 2030.

Mobile networks–because of the need to allocate new radio frequency spectrum, add an order of magnitude of new capacity about every 10 years based on new spectrum. Use of small cell architectures can add more capacity on existing and new spectrum, as well.

Sure, 5G and 6G will be overhyped. But it does not matter. We will need the new networks simply to keep up with capacity demand.

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