New ETSI Reports: 1.] Use cases for THz communications & 2.] Frequency bands of interest in the sub-THz and THz range

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) released a pair of reports from its relatively new Terahertz Industry Specification Group (ISG THz), created in December 2022.  The reports envision how 6G technology might develop and what it will do. Importantly, the reports dive into more than a dozen 6G use cases – from remote surgery to real-time industrial control – as well as the terahertz spectrum bands where that might happen.

“The role of ETSI ISG THz is to develop an environment where various actors from the academia, research centres, industry can share, in a consensus-driven way, their pre-standardization efforts on THz technology resulting from various collaborative research projects and global initiatives, paving the way towards future standardization,” the organization wrote in a press release.

The first Report ETSI GR THz 001 identifies and describes use cases either enabled by or highly benefiting from the use of THz communications. Aspects addressed in the document include deployment scenarios, potential requirements, relevant operational environments and their associated propagation characteristics and/or measurements.

With the large amount of bandwidth available in THz bands, it is possible to achieve extremely high data rates and ease spectrum scarcity problems. Moreover, specific propagation properties of THz signals unlock new features such as accurate sensing and imaging capabilities. The above properties of THz communications open the way to enabling new use cases and could provide an answer to new societal challenges that need to be addressed by the future 6G communications systems. Some of these challenges relate to new functionalities that are not currently supported by cellular systems (e.g. accurate sensing, mapping, and localization), while others relate to new use cases that were not supported by previous communications systems.

The report defines the new use cases that the THz communications and sensing systems can support, along with summarizing the requirements of those use cases.  For each identified use case, the report provides description of the deployment scenario, pre‑conditions required for the use case deployment, an example of service flows through a communication system supporting the use case, post-conditions enabled by the use case, identified potential requirements, and description of the physical environment, including propagation aspects, range, and mobility.

“The concept of remote surgery with support of THz communications comes with the promise of allowing people to be treated at anytime and anywhere, so that medical interventions could be done through the use of medical robots remotely controlled by a surgeon (away from the physical location where the actual surgery is performed),” according to the ETSI report.

Figure 1: Use case mapping to application areas

Here’s the full list of 6G use cases in the ETSI report:

  • remote surgery

  • in-airplane or train cabin entertainment

  • cooperative mobile robots

  • hazardous material work

  • remote education

  • fixed point to point wireless applications

  • mobile wireless X-haul transport

  • wireless data centres

  • interactive immersive XR

  • mission critical XR

  • real-time industrial control

  • simultaneous imaging, mapping, and localization

  • commissioning of industrial plants

  • grand events with ultra-high throughput

  • ultra-high throughput for indoor users

  • intra-device communications

  • local area collaboration for fixed or low mobility applications

  • local area collaboration for vehicular applications

  • predictive maintenance and diagnostics

The 75-page report also offers a lengthy look at the kinds of technologies that might be involved in operating 6G networks, including AI, advanced MIMO, Reflective Intelligent Surfaces (RIS) and edge computing.


The second Report ETSI GR THz 002 identifies frequency bands of interest in the sub-THz and THz range, describes the current regulatory situation and identifies the incumbent services to be considered for coexistence studies.

PR THz TwofirstReports 2

Figure 2: Frequency ranges within the THz band with different regulatory status

The frequency range 100 GHz – 10 THz is referred to as the ‘THz range’. The corresponding wavelengths are from 0,03 mm to 3 mm. Below this range, the mm-wave and microwave frequency ranges are found, already heavily utilized for communications and non-communications applications. Above 10 THz the near- and mid-infrared spectrum starts.

The interest for higher frequency bands increases with the increasing demand for higher bandwidths and lower latencies to serve critical applications. This is most pronounced in the research towards 6G technologies, which are expected to be ready for early deployments around 2030. The frequency ranges from 100 GHz and upwards is already utilized for non‑communications purposes, and therefore there is a need to understand the regulatory landscape and identify the most interesting frequency bands for THz communications.

“Between 100 GHz and 275 GHz, 8 bands with sufficient contiguous bandwidths are allocated to fixed and mobile services on a co-primary basis,” according to the report. “Above 275 GHz, interesting bands have been identified for THz communications purposes based on a combination of regulatory status and favourable propagation conditions.”

To be clear, most 5G vendors don’t expect 6G to run primarily in those terahertz spectrum bands. Companies like Ericsson and Nokia have said 6G will mainly run in the so-called “centimetric” spectrum bands that sit between 7GHz and 20GHz


Another way of discovering more about those two deliverables will be  webinar scheduled for 11 April 2024, 15h CEST:

About ETSI:

ETSI provides members with an open and inclusive environment to support the development, ratification and testing of globally applicable standards for ICT systems and services across all sectors of industry and society.  We are a non-profit body, with more than 900 member organizations worldwide, drawn from 64 countries and five continents. The members comprise a diversified pool of large and small private companies, research entities, academia, government, and public organizations. ETSI is officially recognized by the EU as a European Standards Organization (ESO). For more information, please visit


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