Wireless communications and applications above 100 GHz: Opportunities and challenges for 6g and beyond

Theodore S. Rappaport, Yunchou Xing, Ojas Kanhere, Shihao Ju, Arjuna Madanayake, Soumyajit Mandal, Ahmed Alkhateeb, Georgios C. Trichopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Frequencies from 100 GHz to 3 THz are promising bands for the next generation of wireless communication systems because of the wide swaths of unused and unexplored spectrum. These frequencies also offer the potential for revolutionary applications that will be made possible by new thinking, and advances in devices, circuits, software, signal processing, and systems. This paper describes many of the technical challenges and opportunities for wireless communication and sensing applications above 100 GHz, and presents a number of promising discoveries, novel approaches, and recent results that will aid in the development and implementation of the sixth generation (6G) of wireless networks, and beyond. This paper shows recent regulatory and standard body rulings that are anticipating wireless products and services above 100 GHz and illustrates the viability of wireless cognition, hyper-accurate position location, sensing, and imaging. This paper also presents approaches and results that show how long distance mobile communications will be supported to above 800 GHz since the antenna gains are able to overcome air-induced attenuation, and present methods that reduce the computational complexity and simplify the signal processing used in adaptive antenna arrays, by exploiting the Special Theory of Relativity to create a cone of silence in over-sampled antenna arrays that improve performance for digital phased array antennas. Also, new results that give insights into power efficient beam steering algorithms, and new propagation and partition loss models above 100 GHz are given, and promising imaging, array processing, and position location results are presented. The implementation of spatial consistency at THz frequencies, an important component of channel modeling that considers minute changes and correlations over space, is also discussed. This paper offers the first in-depth look at the vast applications of THz wireless products and applications and provides approaches for how to reduce power and increase performance across several problem domains, giving early evidence that THz techniques are compelling and available for future wireless communications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8732419
Pages (from-to)78729-78757
Number of pages29
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 2019


  • 5G
  • 6G
  • D-band
  • THz applications
  • Terahertz (THz)
  • array processing
  • channel modeling
  • channel sounder
  • cone of silence
  • digital beamformer
  • digital phased arrays
  • imaging
  • millimeter wave
  • mmWave
  • network offloading
  • position location
  • propagation measurements
  • scattering theory
  • signal processing for THz
  • wireless cognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Computer Science
  • General Materials Science


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