Donald Trump Just Said He Wants 6G Technology, But It Doesn't Exist

President Donald Trump today said he wanted the U.S. to have 6G technology, skipping ahead to a generation of wireless capability that doesn't yet exist.

Speaking days before the Mobile World Congress, where the rollout and real-world application of 5G technology is high on the agenda, Trump conceded that U.S. companies risked getting left behind by competitors in the field, which has become a key focus of Chinese innovation.

"I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible," the president tweeted. "It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind. There is no reason that we should be lagging behind on something that is so obviously the future."

Trump continued: "I want the United States to win through competition, not by blocking out currently more advanced technologies. We must always be the leader in everything we do, especially when it comes to the very exciting world of technology!"

In short, 5G is the fifth-generation of mobile internet technology. In the future, it will mean faster wireless internet speeds and a performance boost for internet-of-things (IoT) devices.

Over the past 12 months, the U.S. has ramped up action against Chinese companies, including Huawei and ZTE, in an attempt to limit their potential influence on telecommunications infrastructure. In reality, experts have been clear that 5G technology remains in its infancy.

"It's rolling out simultaneously in many countries. Those pushing hardest are South Korea, China, Japan and the U.S. Most developed countries will be close behind," William Webb, a fellow at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, told Newsweek.

On the timeline for 5G (not 6G), Webb said: "Since there's no clear definition of 5G, that's hard to answer, but it's likely that consumers will be able to readily procure handsets and find areas of 5G coverage in cities from 2020 onwards, with mass market adoption generally expected around 2022." Just yesterday, Samsung showed off its 5G-enabled smartphone.

While Trump has lofty ambitions for the future of U.S. telecoms, social media users were quick to joke about his statements. "My G goes to 11," one tweet read. Another person added: "Why stop at 6G? Like someone else said, we need 10G right NOW. Even 20G!! But let's get even stronger, even better, and even faster. Trump, we need 100G networks in the USA now!!!!"

One user pointed out the fact Trump himself once claimed to know technology "better than anyone" when discussing his border wall plans on Twitter in December last year.

Unfortunately for the president, 5G will stick around for many years. According to Network World, any 6G technology, still being researched, shouldn't be expected until at least 2030.

"All generations take years to roll out. The investment is substantial, it has to be done while keeping the previous generation up and running, and requires new network infrastructure, mobile devices, software, and even applications," a spokesperson from U.S. electronics company Keysight Technologies told Newsweek today via email. "Full 5G is not an objective term."

This week, a former House speaker, Newt Gingrich, wrote in a Newsweek op-ed that if China can control 5G, it will "control the future."