A new study from Juniper Research predicts there will be 290 million connections globally by 2030; the year after its initial expected launch in 2029.

To achieve this early growth, the report cautions operators must solve various technological challenges, including the issue of network interference arising from the use of high frequency spectrum.

This use of high frequency spectrum in 6G will be the key enabling technology to provide throughput speeds 100x greater than current 5G networks. However, as cellular technologies have never used spectrum bands in this range before, the most pressing concern for operators is minimising this network interference, or risk creating an unreliable 6G network.

RIS Identified as Key Emerging 6G Technology

To achieve this, the report urges operators to invest in reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RIS); a technology that will mitigate the impact of interference from large obstacles, including buildings, on network services. This is accomplished by purposefully reflecting and refracting 6G mobile signals to enable data packets to move around physical obstacles.

As 6G standards become clearer in 2025, RIS technology must become an immediate priority for development. However, the report warns that given the wide geographical areas of some 6G networks, operators must implement AI to monitor and adjust RIS configuration in real-time to maximise the technology’s benefits.

Research author Alex Webb remarked, "Initial 6G coverage will occur in the most densely populated geographical areas to serve as many users as possible. Therefore, RIS technology will be key to providing a valuable 6G service to both consumer and enterprise customers in the first few years of network operation.”