5G KPIs vs 6G KPIs | Difference between 5G and 6G KPIs

This page compares 5G KPIs vs 6G KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and mentions difference between 5G and 6G KPIs i.e. Key Performance Indicators.

Introduction: There are different generations of wireless technologies from 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G and 6G. All these technologies follow 3GPP standard specifications which have been finalized based on various parameters such as bandwidth, access technique, operating frequency, data rate, latency, traffic capacity, connection density, energy efficiency, spectrum efficiency, voice/data features and so on.

5G vs 6G KPIs

KPIs indicate key performance indicators for these wireless standards which are minimum or maximum specifications required for the system to perform satisfactorily. The figure compares 5G vs 6G with respect to few parameters viz. energy efficiency, spectral efficiency, intelligence, affordability & customization, security etc. As shown, 6G is superior compare to 5G for these parameters.

6G wireless KPIs | 6G Key Performance Indicators

Let us understand definitions of each of the 6G wireless KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) before we compare both 5G and 6G KPI values.

Maximum Bandwidth: The capacity to transfer maximum amount of data in fixed duration of time through wired or wireless channel is known as maximum bandwidth. In analog domain it is measured in MHz or GHz where as in digital domain it is measured in Gb/s or Mb/s or Kb/s. 6G wireless system supports bandwidth up to 100 GHz.
Peak Data Rate: The rate at which data is transferred from source to destination over wired/wireless channel is called data rate. It is defined as ratio of bytes transferred per unit time (i.e. second). Here peak data rate refers to maximum data rate supported by 6G wireless and it is specified in Mb/s or Gb/s. The 6G wireless supports peak data rate of about 1 Tb/s.
Experienced Data Rate: Various factors affect the internet speed and as a result actual speed experienced by internet subscriber is lower than peak data rate. This parameter is known as Experienced Data Rate and it is also measured in Gb/s or Mb/s. 6G subscriber experiences 1 Gb/s data rate.
Spectrum Efficiency: It is the indicator of how efficiently allocated frequency spectrum is being utilized by the wireless system i.e. 6G or 5G. It is also known by the name "spectral efficiency". The spectral efficiency is improved by various physical layer parameters such as modulation scheme, MIMO, access techniques and so on. It is the ratio of net data rate (bps) to channel bandwidth (Hz). It is measured in b/s/Hz. 6G wireless technology supports 5-10 times more spectral efficiency than 5G wireless.
Peak spectral efficiency: As mentioned spectral efficiency indicates amount of information or how much data can fit in the given BW (Bandwidth). It is the maximum spectral efficiency supported by 6G or any other wireless system. 6G supports peak spectral efficiency about 60 b/s/Hz.
Experienced spectral efficiency: It is the spectral efficiency practically achieved by the system in realtime and experienced by the subscribers or users. 6G wireless supports experienced spectral efficiency of about 3 b/s/Hz.
Network Energy Efficiency: It characterizes costs to run the wireless network 5G or 6G for a given capacity. It is measured both in terms of power consumption per device and network transmission efficiency. This parameter is not specified for 5G network where as 6G network has specified as about 1 terabit per joule (maximum) or 1 pJ/b.
Area Traffic Capacity: It is defined as maximum traffic capacity supported per m2 or Km2. 5G specifies 10 Mb/s/m2 and 6G specifies 1 Gb/s/m2.
Connection Density: It is the measurement of number of subscribers or devices connected on 5G or 6G cellular system simultaneously. 5G specifies 106 devices/Km2 where as 6G specifies 107 devices/Km2 as connection density.
Latency: The latency of wireless loop depends on distance travelled and speed of the connection. It is measured by simple "ping" command. Network latency takes both propagation delay and serialization delay.
Network Latency Calculator, Network Latency Formula
QoS (Quality of Service) defines this parameter for latency sensitive applications such as voice, video and other best effort traffic types. Latency of 1ms is specified for 5G system where as 10-100 µs is specified in 6G wireless technology specifications.
Jitter: In analog domain frequency spectrum purity is specified by phase noise. In time domain, it is measured by the term called "phase jitter" or simple "jitter". It is measured in units of radians (rms) or pico-second (rms) or micro second (µs). The variation in time period of waveform is the primary cause of jitter. Jitter is not specified in 5G standard where as value of 1 µs is specified in 6G wireless standard.
Reliability: Reliability of the wired or wireless connection is the measurement of its performance in realtime conditions after deployment. It is measured in terms of BER (Bit Error Rate), PER (Packet Error Rate) or FER (Frame Error Rate). There are PingTest and SpeedTest tools to test the realiability of internet connection. Likewise for wireless system such as 5G and 6G, various test equipments have been developed by companies such as Keysight, R&S and Anritsu to check these parameters. Frame Error Rate of about 1 x 10-5 and 1 x 10-9 is specified for 5G and 6G systems respectively.
Mobility: It defines performance of the wireless system when subscribers are moving at some speed specified in Km/h. In other words, at specified mobility the wireless system should perform as desired for voice calls or data calls in progress. There should not be drop in voice or data calls at specified mobility speed. 5G supports mobility of 500 Km/h where as 6G wireless supports mobility of greater than 1000 Km/h.
Uniform user experience: It defines experience of users while accessing the wireless system continuosly without interruption of the service. 5G specifies 50 Mb/s, 2D everywhere and 6G specifies 10 Gb/s, 3D everywhere as uniform user experience.
Localization accuracy: It is specified as 10 cm in 2D for 5G where as 1 cm in 3D for 6G system.

Difference between 5G KPIs and 6G KPIs

Following table summarizes KPIs for 5G and 6G wireless technologies. It mentions typical values required by 5G and 6G wireless equipments to achieve the network performance requirements.

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) 5G 6G
• Maximum Bandwidth 1 GHz 100 GHz
• Peak Data Rate 20 Gb/s >= 1 Tb/s
• Experienced Data Rate 0.1 Gb/s 1 Gb/s
• Spectrum Efficiency 3 times that of 4G,
Peak spectral efficiency: 30 b/s/Hz
Experienced spectral efficiency: 0.3 b/s/Hz
5 to 10 times that of 5G
Peak spectral efficiency: 60 b/s/Hz
Experienced spectral efficiency: 3 b/s/Hz
• Network Energy Efficiency or Energy per bit Not Specified 1 pJ/b
• Area Traffic Capacity 10 Mb/s/m2 1 Gb/s/m2
• Connection Density 106 devices/Km2 107 devices/Km2
• Latency 1 ms 10 to 100 µs
• Jitter Not specified 1 µs
• Reliability or FER (Frame Error Rate) 1 x 10-5 1 x 10-9
• Mobility 500 Km/h >= 1000 Km/h
• Uniform user experience 50 Mb/s, 2D everywhere 10 Gb/s, 3D everywhere
• Localization accuracy 10 cm in 2D 1 cm in 3D

It is difficult to support all these KPIs simultaneously. Different use cases will require to meet different set of KPIs in 5G and 6G wireless technologies.

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This 5G tutorial also covers following sub topics on the 5G technology:
5G basic tutorial
5G Frequency Bands
5G millimeter wave tutorial
5G mm wave frame
5G millimeter wave channel sounding
Difference between 4G and 5G
5G testing and test equipments
5G network architecture
5G NR Physical layer
5G NR MAC layer
5G NR RLC layer
5G NR PDCP layer


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