5G may just be ramping up, but Apple already has its sights set on the future and 6G.
6G is still years away, with no specification or concrete guidelines. Nonetheless, Apple seems intent on getting started sooner rather than later. The company has long been reliant on Qualcomm for its modems, no doubt a sore point given their history of litigation.
Apple has already taken steps to end its dependence on Qualcomm, buying Intel’s failed modem business. Early reportssuggested the company may be planning to begin using its own modems as early as 2022.
According to job postings on Apple’s site, using its own 5G modems is just the beginning. In a posting entitled “Wireless Research Systems Engineer – 5G/6G”, Apple outlines its vision for the job:
We are looking for expert and highly self-motivated communication systems engineers who have a deep understanding of wireless technology used in state of the art indoor and outdoor wireless networks. In this role you will be at the center of a cutting-edge research group responsible for creating next generation disruptive radio access technologies over the next decade. You will work on defining system level concepts, proposing and researching innovative ideas & algorithms, performing complex system simulations, defining rapid prototyping platforms to help prove your ideas and specifying RAN protocols and for next generation (5G/6G) cellular systems.
Similarly, another posting, “RAN1/RAN4 Standards Engineer”, has the following line:
You will be part of a team defining and doing research of next generation standards like 6G.
Apple clearly wants to be at the forefront of 6G development and is wasting no time getting started.