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6G Mobile Wireless Technology

San Francisco 5794154
(US Navy Blue Angels, San Francisco Fleet Week - Jeff M. Wang)



As of today (March, 2019) there are over 8 million references to 6G, the next wireless system, the one following 5G. A clear indication that although 5G has not really started the deployment research is not stopping. Today there are several trials on 5G, but it will be more of a trial than real service since 5G phones are not yet available. The first users will have to connect their 4G phones to a little box receiving the 5G signal. 

It will take at least 15 years to have the rolling out of the first 6G systems (that means around 2035) and 5G will keep growing for a few more years after that (ETSI estimated a few years ago the peak in adoption for 5G around 2040), as it is now happening with 4G that is expected to grow for a few more years, at least till 2025. 

Actually, 5G is just the system before 6G, not the end of the line in G.


FCC Opens Up Experimental Terahertz Spectrum Licenses for 6G


The FCC’s move on Spectrum Horizons has effectively “launched the race to 6G, helping to ensure the United States will play a leading role in future generations of wireless…

5G has barely gotten off the ground, and US regulators are already looking to the next big thing in wireless. On Friday, March 15, 2019, the agency unanimously voted to open up "terahertz wave" spectrum that could one day be used for 6G services. The spectrum, which falls in the 95 gigahertz (GHz) to 3 terahertz (THz) range, will be open for experimental use to let engineers dreaming of the next generation of wireless begin their work. The spectrum, once thought of as useless, could offer super high speed Internet service for data intensive applications, such as super high resolution imaging and sensing applications.

Millimeter wave frequencies, which carry a huge amount of data over a short distance, are a key piece of delivering the increased throughput associated with 5G. That same paradigm–high capacity over a short distance, is further compounded when you move up to Terahertz spectrum.

But this spectrum isn't without its challenges. Like millimeter waves, which are used for 5G, this terahertz spectrum has propagation characteristics that require very short transmission distances and line-of-sight transmission. This means signals won't be able to penetrate obstacles, like walls, and would be subject to interference from things like trees or changes in weather.

Potential applications for Terahertz spectrum include sensing, imagine, wireless cognition, For example:

  • Wireless cognition: Robotic control and drone fleet control;
  • Sensing: Air quality detection, personal health monitoring, gesture detection and touchless smartphones, explosive detection and gas sensing;
  • Imaging: See in the dark, HD resolution video radar, Terahertz security body scanning;
  • Communication: Wireless fiber backhaul, intra-device radio communication, connectivity in data centers, information shower;
  • Centimeter-level positioning.



[More to come ...]

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