5G's "Killer App" will be 6G

In this op-ed, Theodore (Ted) S. Rappaport, the David Lee/Ernst Weber professor of Electrical Engineering and founding director of NYU WIRELESS, writes that while 5G's promises lightning-fast downloads, barely-there latencies, and new and improved technologies like virtual reality and self-driving cars, "One amazing fact is all but disregarded—the fundamental technological breakthroughs of 5G. Millimeter wave technology, small cell densification, and massive multiple-input multiple-output (massive-MIMO) antenna systems are paving the way for the next several decades of the wireless industry. the 5G era will be, and the impact it will have on the wireless industry going forward."

Rappaport touches on the past decade of the wireless industry, where the growth in data capacity and data consumption over the global cellular network has far outstripped what was imagined, and mentions three 5G technology pillars, or enablers: small cells, millimeter wave spectrum, and M-MIMO antenna technology. 

Highlighting the third pillar, M-MIMO technology, Rappaport believes the technology will find its way into millimeter wave and sub-terahertz wireless systems in the coming years.