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Fraunhofer institutes already working on 5G’s successor

5G technology hasn’t even hit the market yet, but science and industry are already working on an even faster successor system.

16 Nov. 2017
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From 2020, 5G mobile networks are expected to allow transfer rates of 10 Gbits/s.

Yet with rising demand for stable radio communications – in particular from the industrial sector – this bandwidth will soon no longer suffice either. As part of the EU Terranova project, numerous European research institutes, including the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics ( IAF ) and Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute ( HHI ), and various companies are designing a successor standard, "6G", to cope with transfer rates of up to 400 Gbits/s.

Such high speeds are currently possible only with fiber-optic technology; radio communications would need to harness frequencies in the Terahertz range in order to achieve these speeds. The problem here, though, is the smaller range, as well as the transition between the different transfer technologies – a process that is still not yet seamless.

While the Fraunhofer IAF is focusing on high-frequency directional radio and dwarf wave technology as its part of the project, the Fraunhofer HHI is focusing on other aspects, such as signal processing, which involves the researchers developing new algorithms to make signal processing as efficient and energy-saving as possible. The Terranova project is coordinated by the University of Piraeus Research Centre ( UPRC ) in Greece.