6G Networks on the way.
ED: For those interested in the future of communications.
Researchers at a prominent aerospace institute in China have made a significant advancement in the realm of next-generation 6G communication. This progress involves the accomplishment of the inaugural real-time wireless transmission.
The term “6G” denotes the sixth generation of cellular networks, representing the upcoming frontier in telecommunications that pledges enhanced and swifter communication compared to existing technologies. While 5G networks are currently being deployed worldwide and offer reduced latency during data transmission, 6G networks are anticipated to further minimize latency while optimizing the use of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The noteworthy aspect of China’s achievement lies in the potential applications of 6G cellular networks. These applications include high-definition virtual reality (VR), holographic communication, and other data-intensive tasks. The researchers employed a specialized antenna to generate four distinct beam patterns at a frequency of 110 GHz. This innovative approach facilitated the transmission of data at a rate of 100 gigabits per second over a 10 GHz bandwidth, representing a substantial improvement over existing capabilities.
The technology employed for this real-time data transmission is identified as terahertz orbital angular momentum communication, as detailed in the SCMP report. Terahertz pertains to communication within the frequency range of 100 GHz to 10 THz of the electromagnetic spectrum. The higher frequency range of this technology allows for accelerated data transfer rates and increased information transmission. Terahertz communication has also garnered attention for potential applications in military environments due to its capacity for high-speed and secure communication.
Another noteworthy aspect of the researchers’ accomplishment is the utilization of orbital angular momentum (OAM) in the transmission. This encoding technology enables the simultaneous transmission of more information. The researchers harnessed OAM to transmit multiple signals on the same frequency, showcasing a more efficient use of the spectrum.
While the practical implementation of these technologies may take several years, the researchers also showcased advancements in wireless backhaul technology, which could be deployed soon. In traditional cellular networks, data is transmitted from devices to base stations and then to core networks through fibre optic cables. Given the anticipated increase in base stations, fibre-based transmission is expected to become more costly and time-consuming. The use of wireless technology for backhaul aims to provide flexibility at lower costs, potentially benefiting existing 5G communication.
Looking ahead, the significance of 6G communication technology extends to short-range broadband transmissions, such as those involving lunar and Mars landers and spacecraft. The U.S. government has taken note of China’s strides in the communication industry and is exploring avenues to advance similar technology domestically, seeking to reassert U.S. dominance in this domain.