6G will not be “about voice”, as was the case for 5G and 4G as well. You might recall that when 4G launched, voice was carried on 3G, while 4G was essentially a data network. Voice over LTE developed later, to carry voice natively on the 4G network.
In the early 5G era, it appears that pattern will continue, with 4G relied upon for voice services, while 5G develops as a data access and computing network.
According to Ericsson, the 6G “needed capabilities” start with “higher achievable data rates” with no increase in network costs, plus better energy performance and qualitative elements such as trustworthiness.
The point is that all the capabilities speak to 6G functioning as a data network. “6G will bring all physical things into the realm of compute,” Ericsson notes. The network will be designed to support “a fully digitalized, automated and programmable world of connected humans, machines , things and places,” says Ericsson CTO Erik Ekudden,
6G will be the third successive mobile platform whose “purpose” is to connect computing devices used by humans and machines, even though voice communication is a function that must be supported.