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6G LTE - 5G successor within reach

You thought 5G was already fast?

With 6G, the possibilities are completely different:

Up to 1 TB per second.

©Dilok

While many iPhone or Android owners are still wishing for good network coverage of 5G reception, there are more and more details about its declared successor 6G. As with the leap from 4G to 5G, this standard promises a higher data rate: up to 400 gigabits per per second should be possible, Chinese researchers even consider up to 1 TB/s possible. That's about 10,000 MB per second - the 5G specification, on the other hand, has a limit of 10 Gbit/s and currently only a maximum of 1 Gbit/s is achieved. However, the new technology is supposed to offer even more improvements: Among other things, latency is to be significantly improved, which is important for time-critical tasks.

First breakthrough

For the first time, LG Electronics has now achieved a first breakthrough in development: In cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute, the successful transmission of data in the terahertz range was achieved on 19.08.2021. Apparently, the power amplification was the biggest technical challenge of the project, as the short range is a problem in the terahertz range. However, a stable signal power of up to 15 dBm was achieved during the presentation in the frequency range between 155 and 175 GHz. The jointly developed amplifier was able to transmit and receive data over a distance of a hundred metres, and functions such as beamforming were also demonstrated.


LG and the Fraunhofer Institute have achieved a first breakthrough.

This is what 6G is supposed to enable

5G is probably fast enough for many people for the time being. The increased new capabilities are also intended less for web surfing or calling up YouTube videos; they are supposed to enable completely new applications. According to initial concepts, these include, for example, successor technologies to virtual reality and augmented reality with completely new virtual worlds - some developers have given them the new term XR. 6G would also enable completely new collaboration possibilities - for example, a doctor performing an operation remotely. But also "telepresence", meetings with virtual interlocutors, health monitoring via AI and much more will become possible. In contrast to 5G, however, 6G should only be oriented towards the needs of consumers, such as smartphone users. For technical reasons, too, networks with a short range or a public space in cities are more likely to be the place of deployment, which also already includes deployments in the iOT sector - for example in logistics and industry - as with 5G.

Standardisation and development

The first 6G Wireless Summit already took place in Finland in 2019, probably not by chance in this country: Nokia is one of the leading developers and has founded the development project Hexa-X with 21 other companies. Technical leadership is provided by Ericsson, and network operators such as Telefónica and Orange are also involved, as well as Atos, Siemens, Intel and, last but not least, Apple. Huawei is missing, but with the China Mobile Research Institute, China is not left out. The 6G standard is planned to be defined by 2025 by a working group of the Next G Alliance. A market launch is even not expected until 2030. However, the short range will lead to many problems until then, not least in the area of network operators and regulatory requirements. The energy consumption and heat generation of the components are also still considered outstanding hurdles.

However, it is not yet clear what the implementation of 6G will look like; Huawei, for example, which is known for its advanced 5G technology, is rather critical here. According to an investor conference, the company seems to be working on an extension of its existing 5G technology, called 5.5G. A separate white paper on the topic of 6G was also announced. Incidentally, the state of China has also been researching 6G since as early as 2019, and in November 2020 the world power has already sent its first test satellite into orbit to test 6G technology, among other things. Not to be forgotten: In April 2021, the German government also launched a research initiative. By 2025, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research will provide a total of 700 million euros, as we reported earlier . And with Thinknet 6G, there is another funding project from the government of Bavaria. (PCW)

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