LG triples distance record for 6G data transmission
It may feel like 5G only just arrived, but 6G is already on the horizon. Engineers at LG Electronics and the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) have now tripled the distance record for data transmission over 6G, reaching a new milestone for practical urban coverage.
While 5G and earlier technologies use frequencies below 100 GHz, 6G will expand beyond that into the currently unused terahertz (THz) spectrum. This brings with it advantages like data rates that are up to 50 times faster than 5G, and latency that’s just 10% that of 5G.
On the path to rolling out this technology, researchers at LG and HHI have now set a new distance record for data transmission over 6G. At frequencies between 155 and 175 GHz, the team transmitted data over 320 m (1,050 ft) outdoors. That’s more than three times farther than the previous record, which the team set a year ago.
That’s particularly impressive given that one of the main disadvantages of 6G is a short range. To counter that, the team used amplifiers at each end to boost the signal. The transmitter amplifier was boosted to an output of 20 decibel-milliwatts (dBm), up from 15 dBm in the previous test. The receiver also had a new amplifier that reduced noise, allowing for clearer signal reception.
These advances allowed the researchers to push the transmission distance to the new record of 320 m. Importantly this means it passes a technical milestone – 6G base stations in urban areas would be placed around 250 m (820 ft) apart, so surpassing that is a key step towards deploying these in the real world.
“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.
Don’t worry if you’ve only just bought a 5G phone, though – 6G isn’t expected to roll out commercially until 2029. There’s still plenty more technical work to be done before then.