While 5G is still not a standard that is available everywhere in our part of the world, experts are already working at full speed on the successor to the blazingly fast mobile Internet. Berlin is now playing a major role in this. After all, an alliance of smartphone manufacturers and science has succeeded in enabling stable terahertz transmission over a distance of more than 100 meters.
Collaboration between industry and science
In the development of 6G, different agencies are working hand in hand to achieve the goal as quickly as possible. In particular, the “experiment” successfully conducted in Berlin involved the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics (IAF), in addition to the major electronics manufacturer LG. As part of an experimental setup, the three participants aimed to establish a mobile radio connection with a high frequency range over a distance of just under 100 meters. In the end, they succeeded in transmitting in the range between 155 GHz and 175 GHz with their 6G prototype.
The focus was on stability
The goal was not just to achieve a hertz number in this high range. Corresponding breakthroughs in research have already been made. Rather, the aim was to produce a connection that was as stable as possible. In this regard, the giant electronics company LG let the following be known:
“Due to the short range of 6G THz as well as the power losses during transmission between antennas and during reception, one of the biggest challenges was the need for power amplification to produce a stable signal over ultra-wideband frequencies. The power amplifier developed by LG, Fraunhofer HHI and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics (IAF) was critical to the success of this latest test.”
Speed still unknown
While we know about the Hertz number as well as distance of the model test, the speed achieved in Berlin is unknown. However, one will be able to look to other test setups to establish parallels. In June 2021, for example, speeds of around 6.2 GBit/s were achieved in an experiment in the USA. However, the test there only achieved a connection over a distance of just under 15 meters. It is important to note that the long-awaited 6G will only achieve the all-important goal of enabling higher transmission rates than 5G at 155 GHz and above.
LG is happy about the breakthrough
It’s an open secret that LG is by far the most diligent company in the world when it comes to 6G development. Accordingly, the breakthroughs in Berlin are extremely gratifying for the South Korean company. LG went on to say:
“The power amplifier is capable of generating stable signal power of up to 15 dBm in the frequency range between 155 and 175 GHz. LG was also able to successfully demonstrate adaptive beamforming technology, which adjusts the direction of the signal depending on changes in the channel and receiver position, as well as changing directional antennas, combining the output signals from multiple power amplifiers and transmitting them to specific antennas.”
Completion by 2025
It should not be too long at all before the new mobile communications standard will delight us. If one believes the responsible developers, we should be able to enjoy the much faster mobile connection as early as 2025. However, as we already know from the introduction of 5G, it will still take years from its introduction as a standard until the faster connection is actually established in the masses. Fortunately, German politicians are also participating in the development of 6G. In particular, the German government is supporting Fraunhofer HHI with appropriate funding.