Today 5G is under the spot worldwide. The more we look at it the more we realise that the 5G infrastructure be a radical evolution of 4G/LTE and fixed networks. In fact, current trends are showing that 5G will not be just an increase of radio bandwidth, better performance and improved reliability: 5G will deeply integrate processing, storage and (fixed-mobile) network capabilities in highly flexible and programmable architectures, almost fully "automated".
As a matter of fact technology advances and the costs reductions are bringing these capabilities pervasively into the daily reality, around us, impacting deeply any segment of Society and Economy. Not only humans, but also machines, robots, drones, pieces of software processes will become the future Users of 5G in a newly developed Digital Society and the Digital Economy.
In this sense, 5G is expression of digital transformation, starting to materialise from 2020, and maybe, one of the major issues still open is understanding the new value-chain making all of that sustainable !
But beyond that, "what's next" ? My take is that if there will be a 6G, then it will be Quantum !
There are several evidences of increasing efforts and investments in R&D and Innovation of Quantum systems. Some notable example are: Microsoft, IBM, HP, Toshiba, Google, NASA, Intel, Alibaba, BT and other several Centres of Excellence.
Take a look at these links:
It's true that Quantum technologies and approaches are showing different levels of maturity, but it is already widely believed that first Quantum Systems will be available within five-ten years: as a matter of fact advanced prototypes for quantum computing and communications are already available.
There is also already a Quantum Manifesto calling upon Member States and the European Commission to launch a €1 billion Flagship-scale Initiative in Quantum Technology, preparing for a start in 2018 within the European H2020 research and innovation framework programme
A future breakthrough in the development of quantum systems at affordable prices will have systemic and far reaching impacts, e.g.,
- the exploitation of the Quantum Internet capable of exchanging information through fully optical networks and processing it, optically, in the form of encoded photons;
- the development of disruptive applications in the areas of cryptography, cyber-security and anti-counterfeit transactions with “quantum money”, finance, but also in bioinformatics, quantum machine learning and artificial intelligence;
- radical implications in other sectors and industries, such as new faster ways of processing genetic big data, quantum biology and medicine or developing of new nano-tech smart materials.
Would you bet on Quantum ?