A thousand times faster than 5G: 6G networks will use curved light rays

5G communication technology has not yet become widespread, as engineers are already actively developing the implementation of 6G networks. The sixth generation of mobile networks will be so revolutionary that it will not require direct visibility between the transmitter and receivers due to the use of “curved” light rays. In a new study published in Nature’s Communications Engineering, scientists have described a transmitter that can dynamically adjust waves to support future 6G signals.

6G communications will be distributed through radiophotonic digital antenna arrays. Illustrative image: Unsplash

Currently, the most modern mobile communication standard is 5G. The technology has not been implemented in Ukraine yet, so our citizens use only 4G networks. The introduction of 6G communications is planned in 2030. The sixth generation of mobile networks will be almost a thousand times faster than 5G. Unlike 5G, which operates in bands up to 6 GHz, 6G will operate in the sub-terahertz (THz) range from 100 GHz to 300 GHz, which will avoid blocking signals by physical objects. 

As part of the experiments, scientists have shown that it is possible to successfully “bend” high-frequency signals around obstacles such as buildings. This gives the opportunity to create transmitters that can “manipulate” signals so that they effectively bypass obstacles.

The radiophotonic digital antenna arrays developed by scientists create waves that work together to create a signal that remains intact even if its path is partially blocked. This opens up the possibility for data transmission over curved paths, allowing future 6G networks to avoid the need for line of sight between devices.

Although light bending is an already studied technology, its use can make 6G networks a reality. 5G millimeter waves provide the highest bandwidth so far, but future 6G signals in the THz band may provide even higher data transfer speeds. Among the requirements for sixth-generation networks, experts indicate data transfer speeds from 100 Gbit/s to 1 Tbit/s.

However, for successful signal transmission, the receiver must be located in the near field of the transmitter. This limits the use of this technology in shared 6G networks, but may be useful for next-generation Wi-Fi networks.

Although the use of the THz spectrum is promising, its development is still at an early stage. However, this research brings us closer to building wireless networks with the incredible speed typical of 6G networks.

Earlier, we reported on whether 5G would harm broadband satellite communications.

According to space.com

Follow us on Twitter to get the most interesting space news in time