In the joint trials, the partners will utilise radio waves in the high frequency range (sub-terahertz waves) of 100 GHz and 300 GHz, which represent promising candidates for use in 6G to realize a high-speed communication technology with radio wave propagation that is not affected by obstacles. The companies further aim to develop a high-frequency wireless device that utilises a compound semiconductor.
6G networks are expected to further accelerate the digitisation of society and provide essential solutions to complex societal issues.
To this end, global R&D activities focus on further advancing the high-speed, large-capacity, low-latency, and simultaneous multi-connection features of current 5G networks and aim to realize communications with low power consumption with an eye towards the full-scale launch of 6G networks and services around 2030.
Wider frequency bands play a significant role in realizing high-speed and large-capacity communication exceeding that of current 5G networks. 100GHz and above are promising frequency bands for 6G networks that would enable communication speeds of over 100 Gbps, which is ten times higher than that of current 5G networks. However, radio waves at higher frequencies tend to be more easily affected by obstacles, which makes communication between distant points difficult.
To address this issue, Fujitsu, DOCOMO and NTT will conduct joint trials of distributed MIMO, a wireless communication technology where multiple sub-terahertz wave antennas are dispersed to simultaneously emit radio waves from multiple directions to a receiving terminal.
Through this joint experiment, the three companies aim to develop technology that is resistant to obstruction and realizes stable high-speed wireless communication over 100 Gbps.
In order to realize high-speed and large-capacity communications at sub-terahertz waves with small size and low power consumption, Fujitsu aims to develop high-frequency wireless devices utilizing compound semiconductors such as gallium nitride (GaN) and indium phosphorus (InP).
Fujitsu will promote the development of technologies for the realisation of practical applications for 6G and actively engage in global 6G standardization activities to contribute to solving societal issues through R&D.
NEC will work with DOCOMO and NTT on a distributed MIMO technology for utilizing the midband of 6GHz or higher to the sub-terahertz band, and OAM multiplex transmission technology that realizes large capacity by spatial multiplexing of high-frequency band radio waves.
NEC will also conduct R&D on device technologies for reducing size and power consumption, as well as high-precision beamforming technologies, transmission methods and propagation models suitable for high-frequency bands.
This is in addition to the development of optimization and signal processing technologies utilizing AI. NEC aims to develop and realise these technologies for supporting the start of 6G services by DOCOMO and NTT near 2030.
“ We will initiate experimental trials to establish 6G wireless technologies for sub-THz communication using 100 GHz and 300 GHz band, and make a solid contribution to 6G commercialization with a variety of industry partners,” says DoCOMO CTO Naomi Tani.
6G will require technological advances to achieve 10 to 100 times higher speeds and capacities than 5G with ultra-low power consumption of 1/ 100 and coverage that reaches from the depths of the ocean to the heights of outer space