Although 5G technology has only recently become well-known and increasingly widespread, tech companies are already thinking about the next step and 6G technology. This technology is currently still in the development and testing phase, but, just like 5G, it could soon revolutionize people’s digital lives.
One of the companies working intensively on the development of 6G technology is the South Korean LG, which boasted successful testing of wireless data transfer and reception of 6G THz, i.e. in the frequency range from 155 to 175 GHz, at a distance of 320 meters outdoors.
The testing was carried out on September 7 at the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) in Berlin and marks a significant step toward the commercialization of 6G terahertz data exchange in outdoor and indoor environments in urban areas, bearing in mind the reference cellular coverage of base stations for urban macro cells distance of about 250 meters outdoors.
This is also significant progress from last August, when LG proved it could transfer 6G THz data over a distance of 100 meters outdoors.
6G technology, which uses ultra-wideband frequencies, has a relatively short range, so there may be some loss of power from transmission to reception. To solve this problem, LG, together with Fraunhofer HHI and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics (IAF), developed a power amplifier capable of increasing transmission strength, and a receiver low-noise amplifier to improve the quality of the incoming signal.
As the organizations explained, the demonstrated multi-channel amplifier has an output of more than 20 decibels (dBm), which is an increase of over 5 dBm compared to the achievements of the LG company and the Fraunhofer institutes at the previous trial. The low-noise amplifier of the receiver utilized also minimizes noise generation for reception signal. These new technologies have been integrated into LG’s latest module design, which is extremely suitable for the future production of integrated circuits (ICs), in order to facilitate the path to commercialization.
“With the success of our latest demonstration, we are one step closer to realizing 6G speeds of 1 terabit (TB) per second in both indoor and outdoor urban areas,” said Dr. Kim Byoung-hoon, CTO and Executive Vice President of LG Electronics. “LG will continue to cooperate with research institutes and industry innovators to further solidify its leadership in 6G technology. We expect 6G to be a major driver of future business and new user experiences, and there is no place we’d rather be than at the forefront of its development.”
Discussions on 6G network standardization are expected to begin in 2025, while commercialization is planned for 2029 or later. Compared to the technology of 5G wireless networks, 6G will deliver much faster and more reliable data transfer, with lower latency.
Global companies are racing when it comes to 6G, considering the key role this technology will play in enabling all kinds of innovation: from ultra-realistic mobile holograms to the next phase of IoT and ambient computing, which will provide more adaptive, personalized experiences by organically connecting people, objects, and spaces.
Back in June 2021, the Next G Alliance, an initiative of the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) selected LG as the leader of an applications working group that will discuss 6G technologies and guide the future direction of 6G telecommunications services.