Bits Magazine ITSOC

6G: The Personal Tactile Internet—And Open Questions for Information Theory


The initial vision of cellular communications was to deliver ubiquitous voice communications to anyone anywhere. In a simplified view, 1G delivered voice services for business customers, and only 2G for consumers. Next, this also initiated the appetite for cellular data, for which 3G was designed. However, Blackberry delivered business smartphones, and 4G made smartphones a consumer device. The promise of 5G is to start the Tactile Internet, to control real and virtual objects in real-time via cellular. However, the hype around 5G is, again, focusing on business customers, in particular in the context of campus networks. Consequently, 6G must provide an infrastructure to enable remote-controlled mobile robotic solutions for everyone—the Personal Tactile Internet. Which role can information and communication theory play in this context, and what are the big challenges ahead?

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