The South Korean company is preparing for early 6G to launch two years ahead of the commonly predicted 2030 timeframe, even though both the proposed use cases and the underlying technology are currently very shaky.
5G has already enabled massive boosts in data bandwidth and reductions in latency over 4G, the questions of what more 6G could offer -- and why -- are key to establishing the need for a new standard.
Samsung expects 6G to offer 50 times higher peak data rates than 5G, or 1,000Gbps, with a "user experienced data rate" of 1Gbps, plus support for 10 times more connected devices in a square kilometre.
Samsung is targeting air latency reductions from 5G's under 1 millisecond to under 100 microseconds, a 100 times improvement in error-free reliability, and twice the energy efficiency of 5G.
Why anyone would need that amount of bandwidth has required Samsung to predict technology, which is impossible now,
Besides the obvious faster broadband for mobile devices, which will now be so fast you email will arrive before you send it, ultra-reliable low latency communications for autonomous vehicles, and factory-scale automation.
Samsung suggests that while the "human eye is limited to a maximum resolution of 1/150 degrees and view angle of 200 degrees in azimuth and 130 degrees in zenith", multi-camera machines will process data at resolutions, angles, wavelengths, and speeds that people can't match, eating untold quantities of bandwidth as a result".
Samsung also suggests that 6G will be needed to enable 'truly immersive' extended reality, as next-generation XR headsets will need around 0.44Gbps throughput to power human retina-matching 16 million pixel displays - that's more individual bandwidth than 5G networks can guarantee.
The outfit expects that mobile and larger displays will begin to display actual volumetric holograms, requiring 'at least' 580Gbps for a phone-sized 6.7-inch display, and 'human-sized' holograms at several terabits per second.
The company predicts that people, objects, and places will be fully replicated digitally, enabling users "to explore and monitor the reality in a virtual world, without temporal or spatial constraints", including one-way or two-way interactions between physical and digital twins.