LG has successfully used a THz connection to send and receive data in the open air. For this, the company used two antennas placed on two buildings, at a distance of 100 meters. LG sees THz connections as a possible part of 6G.
The test took place in Berlin, between the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute and the Berlin Institute of Technology. The antennas were placed on the roofs of these two buildings, covering a distance of more than a hundred meters. It is the first time for LG to set up a THz connection in the open air at that distance.
LG does not specify what speeds were achieved, how large the file was sent and how long the connection remained intact. In addition, it is not clear which frequency band LG used; there is only talk of a ‘6G terahertz’ connection. Companies working on the new standard are partly focusing on frequencies between 100GHz and 3THz.
The advantage of a THz connection is that, in theory, data can be sent faster. The ultimate goal for 6G is to be able to achieve 1Tbit/s speeds, for which those higher frequencies are looked at. However, such high frequencies only offer a limited range compared to the lower frequencies that are now used for, for example, 4G.
LG acknowledges that THz connections have issues. In addition to the limited range, power loss would be a problem. That is why LG developed a new power amplifier in collaboration with the Fraunhofer HHI and Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics. According to LG, this power amplifier ensured that a stable signal of up to 15dBm could be generated in the frequency space between 155GHz and 175GHz.
Furthermore, LG claims that the test was able to successfully demonstrate adaptive beamforming, as well as high gain antenna switching. The former adjusts the direction of the signal as the channel and receiver change position. The high gain antenna switching in turn allows output signals from multiple power amplifiers to be combined and sent to specific antennas. LG claims with this test to show that it is one step closer to the successful deployment of THz connections at 6G.
Although LG is talking about a 6G connection here, it is not yet entirely certain that THz connections will actually become part of 6G. Various parties are now testing possible techniques; the actual specification is not expected until after 2027, according to some parties. LG itself thinks that there could be a standard by 2025 and that 6G could be used commercially four years later.