Dr. Mike O'rear wanted to share this article to show what is in the future for HTM professional; so get ready:
Let’s Talk 6G
December 12, 2018 Patrick Hindle, Editor, Microwave Journal No Comments
In June, the first 5G specification was finalized as 5G NR phase I
(Release 15) and next year will see the completion of phase II for the 5G NR
specification. 5G started in the U.S. this October, when Verizon released the
first commercial 5G service with the deployment of mmWave Fixed Wireless
Access service in several cities. AT&T started the deployment of the first
standards-based 5G mobile service in November, and T-Mobile plans to start
in the first half of 2019. It is surprising that the first two deployments in the
U.S. use mmWave technology, which was deemed too expensive and shortrange
to be viable a few years ago. Although it will be several years before 5G becomes prevalent to
consumers around the world, we have to ask what is next?
At September’s Mobile World Congress Americas 2018, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel
suggested that 6G could feature terahertz (THz) frequency networks and spatial multiplexing with
multiple simultaneous beams of data transfer with a high level of network densification. This could be
accomplished with miniaturized base stations embedded ubiquitously in the environment everywhere.
While Rosenworcel said these technologies are far away, spectrum policies need rethinking now in
advance of 6G including valuation, auctions and distribution.
Rosenworcel suggested dynamic sharing rather than the binary licensed/unlicensed model. She also
proposed a blockchain approach to spectrum management. She said that instead of having a
centralized database to support shared access in specific spectrum bands, we could explore the use
of blockchain as a lower-cost alternative. With the emergence of blockchain technology being used in
wireless applications, we will explore 5G and blockchain as a technology track at EDI CON China
2019 in Beijing in April as it relates to an open wireless network. It will be interesting to see where this
technology is headed and the benefits to using it with 5G networks.
As I attended several 5G events this year, a few advanced technologies stood out as potentials for 6G.
At the Brooklyn 5G Summit in April, NYU students were performing channel sounding testing using
140 GHz signals produced by Virginia Diodes’ sources. NYU led the way for 5G mmWave
implementations with some of the first studies to develop propagation models, and seem to be doing
the same for 6G with these projects. Nokia was demonstrating a single chip 90 GHz phased array at
the Summit as well, so I look for these upper mmWave to lower THz frequencies being potential
technologies for 6G.
At the University of Oulu’s Center for Wireless Communications, they have €250 million of funding
over the next eight years for project 6Genesis: 6G-Enabled Wireless Smart Society & Ecosystem.
Their charter is to think outside the box for the wireless vision for 2030. The 6Genesis project is led by
the University of Oulu in collaboration with Nokia, the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, Aalto
University, Business Oulu and the Oulu University of Applied Sciences. The low latency of 5G, several
milliseconds, may not be good enough for 6G and using 100 to 1000 GHz signals will be needed to
12/31/2018 Let’s Talk 6G | 2018-12-05 | Microwave Journal
handle data rates up to terabit/s speeds so they will explore how these goals might
In the 6Genesis promo video, they envision an intelligent personal edge, an augmented reality
interface using AI and cloud computing to deliver personalized data to your palm. Sensor to AI fusion
would enable smart clothing, ambient measurements and individual health monitoring. Autonomous
vehicles and ships, smart materials, holographic interfaces, intelligent cities, smart buildings, biocentric
identity for security and more would all become reality. Pretty cool stuff, but seems more likely
2050 before we reach this level of sophistication in our communication networks and data
In May, Tektronix/IEMN and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) both announced
development of 100 Gbps “wireless fiber” solutions. Each took a different route, with Tektronix and
IEMN (a French research laboratory) demonstrating a single carrier wireless link with a 100 Gbps data
rate signal at 252 to 325 GHz per the recently published IEEE 802.15.3d standard, while NTT used a
new principle, Orbital Angular Momentum (OAM) multiplexing at 28 GHz with MIMO technology.
The Tektronix/IEMN demonstration used advanced data coding, THz photonics and wideband and
linear devices to enable ultra-fast wireless connections in the 252 to 325 GHz band, according to the
release. The purpose of the new 802.15.3d standard is to provide for low complexity, low-cost, lowpower
consumption, very high data rate wireless connectivity among devices and in the future “low
NTT successfully demonstrated for the first time 100 Gbps wireless transmission OAM multiplexing in
order to achieve terabit-class wireless transmission to support demand for future wireless systems. It
was shown in a laboratory environment that dramatic increases in transmission capacity can be
achieved by signals using this new principle of OAM multiplexing in combination with widely used
MIMO technology. NTT conducted transmission experiments at a distance of 10 m in the laboratory
operating in the 28 GHz frequency band. Eleven data signals each at a bit rate of 7.2 to 10.8 Gbps
were simultaneously generated and carried by multiple OAM-multiplexed signals, thereby achieving
large-capacity wireless transmission at a total bit rate of 100 Gbps.
Software-defined radio (SDR) has been around for many years but is now starting to become
commercialized. The U.S. agency DARPA is running the Spectrum Collaboration Challenge in the
world’s largest channel emulator test bed called the Colosseum to further this technology. We
published a deep technical piece on this effort as the cover feature in our September issue. The
project will see how AI and SDR technology can be brought together in a large scale test with 256
radio inputs and outputs. In order to better use our existing spectrum, perhaps our 6G phones will
listen to what frequencies are being used in real-time and use unoccupied frequencies to better utilize
this scarce resource.
6G is likely to be a combination of higher frequencies (mmWave and perhaps THz), integration of
blockchain and AI in SDRs and possibly new modulation schemes and techniques to achieve vast