Keysight and partners make UK’s first 100 Gbps “6G” Sub-THz connection


  • Data link made at speeds greater than 100 Gbps at a frequency of 300 GHz using both 32 and 64 quadrature amplitude modulation
  • Achievement enabled by Keysight’s 6G sub-THz testbed platform

Keysight Technologies, Inc, in collaboration with National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and the University of Surrey, has made the first 6G connection at speeds greater than 100 gigabits per second (Gbps) over sub-terahertz (THz) frequencies in the U.K.

Future 6G use cases, such as augmented reality and autonomous vehicles, will require data throughput speeds from 100 Gbps to 1 terabit per second (Tbps). To achieve the extreme data speeds and low latencies required by these revolutionary use cases, the use of sub-THz frequencies is being explored. However, operations in sub-THz frequency bands introduce signal integrity and path loss challenges that can negatively impact performance.

Keysight, NPL, and the University of Surrey established the first sub-THz high throughput 6G testbed in the U.K. to address these challenges. Funded by the U.K. government for 6G research, NPL and Surrey scientists are using the testbed to study and characterize sub-THz signal performance to generate new techniques for optimizing data paths and calibration methodologies.

Located at NPL, this new 6G testbed achieved the U.K.’s first high-speed sub-THz data link. The demonstration was made at a frequency of 300 GHz using both 32 and 64 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM). Built on Keysight’s 6G Sub-Terahertz R&D Testbed, the testbed uses the M8194A Arbitrary Waveform Generator (AWG) combined with Virginia Diodes Inc. (VDI) upconverters / downconverters to generate the signal and Keysight’s UXR0704A Infiniium multichannel high-performance 70 GHz oscilloscope to analyze the signal.

Keysight, NPL, and the University of Surrey will demonstrate the new 6G testbed at the Spring 2023 6G Symposium at the University of Surrey, April 24-26.

Irshaad Fatadin, Principal Scientist, National Physical Laboratory, said: “6G is a key focus for NPL and we are using our scientific and measurement capabilities to tackle the challenges of this new technology. Our partnership with Keysight will be a critical success factor in our 6G research work.”

Mosaab Abughalib, Senior Research Director and General Manager for Keysight’s Network Emulation Group, said: “Through this partnership we are bringing Keysight solutions and experts together with scientists from NPL and the University of Surrey to unlock the true potential of 6G.”


About Keysight in 6G:
Keysight creates the runway that enables researchers to launch evolutionary and revolutionary technology platform solutions based on 5G-Advanced and 6G technologies. A cohesive set of design and development building blocks across multiple interconnected technology domains enables innovators to spark new insights. Keysight plays a pivotal role in bringing to life 6G use cases that have the potential to transform society, enhance human interactions, enable enterprises to achieve greater efficiencies, and accelerate life-changing innovations.

About Keysight Technologies:

At Keysight (NYSE: KEYS), we inspire and empower innovators to bring world-changing technologies to life. As an S&P 500 company, we’re delivering market-leading design, emulation, and test solutions to help engineers develop and deploy faster, with less risk, throughout the entire product lifecycle. We’re a global innovation partner enabling customers in communications, industrial automation, aerospace and defense, automotive, semiconductor, and general electronics markets to accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world.

Learn more at Keysight Newsroom and


Enable-6G: Yet another 6G R&D effort spearheaded by Telefónica de España

China to introduce early 6G applications by 2025- way in advance of 3GPP specs & ITU-R standards

India unveils Bharat 6G vision document, launches 6G research and development testbed

NTT DOCOMO & SK Telecom Release White Papers on Energy Efficient 5G Mobile Networks and 6G Requirements

Juniper Research: 5G to Account for 80% of Operator Revenue by 2027; 6G Requires Innovative Technologies

China’s MIIT to prioritize 6G project, accelerate 5G and gigabit optical network deployments in 2023

China Mobile unveils 6G architecture with a digital twin network (DTN) concept

Summary of ITU-R Workshop on “IMT for 2030 and beyond” (aka “6G”)

IMT Vision – Framework and overall objectives of the future development of IMT for 2030 and beyond

This ITU-R recommendation in progress will be the main focus of next week’s ITU-R WP5D meeting #43 in Geneva.  It defines the framework and overall objectives for the development of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) for 2030 and beyond.  There are contributions related to this recommendation from: Apple, Nokia, Ericsson, Wireless World Research Forum, Motorola Mobility, Orange, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland , Finland, Germany, GSOA, China, Qualcomm, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), Brazil, Samsung, ZTE, Huawei, InterDigital, Intel and India, with several being multi-company contributions.

IMT will continue to better serve the needs of the networked society, for both developed and developing countries in the future and this Recommendation outlines how that will be accomplished. This Recommendation also intends to drive the industries and administrations for encouraging further development of IMT for 2030 and beyond.

The framework of the development of IMT for 2030 and beyond, including a broad variety of capabilities associated with envisaged usage scenarios, is described in detail in this Recommendation.



This draft Recommendation/document defines a [potential] framework and overall objectives for the development of the terrestrial component of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) for 2030 and beyond. IMT will continue to better serve the needs of the [networked] society, for both developed and developing countries in the future and this [Recommendation/document] outlines how [possibly] that could be accomplished. This [Recommendation/document] also intends to encourage further development of IMT-2030. In this [Recommendation/document], the [potential] framework of the development of IMT-2030, including a broad variety of capabilities associated with [some possible] envisaged usage scenarios[, and those yet to be developed and] described in detail. Furthermore, this [Recommendation/document] addresses the objectives for the development of IMT-2030, which includes further enhancement and evolution of existing IMT and the development of IMT-2030.

It should be noted that this Recommendation is defined considering the development of IMT to date based on Recommendation ITU-R M.2083 (approved in September 2015).

Technology Trends:

Report ITU-R M.2516 provides a broad view of future technical aspects of terrestrial IMT systems considering the timeframe up to 2030 and beyond, characterized with respect to key emerging services, applications trends, and relevant driving factors. It comprises a toolbox of technological enablers for terrestrial IMT systems, including the evolution of IMT through advances in technology, and their deployment. In the following sections a brief overview of emerging technology trends, technologies to enhance the radio interface, and technologies to enhance the radio network are presented.

An important breakthrough in 3GPP Rel-17, Technical Specifications for Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN) were established & defined for satellite direct access to device for both 5G and IoT services. This development reflects a trend that satellite & space technologies can offer many benefits for development & operation of future IMT-2030 networks, to enable 5G & 6G available everywhere, accessible to enterprises and citizens across the globe.

IMT-2030 will consider an AI-native new air interface that refers to the use of AI to enhance radio interface performance such as symbol detection/decoding, channel estimation etc. An AI-native radio network will enable automated and intelligent networking services such as intelligent data perception, supply of on-demand capability etc. Radio network to support AI services is the design of IMT technologies to serve various AI applications, and the proposed directions include on-demand uplink/sidelink-centric, deep edge and distributed machine learning. The integration of sensing and communication functions in future wireless systems will provide beyond-communication capabilities by utilizing wireless communication systems more effectively resulting in mutual benefit to both functions. Integrated sensing and communication (ISAC) systems will also enable innovative services and applications such as intelligent transportation, gesture and sign language recognition, automatic security, healthcare, air quality monitoring, and solutions with higher degree of accuracy. Combined with technologies such as AI, network cooperation and multi-nodes cooperative sensing, the ISAC system will lead to benefits in enhanced mutual performance, overall cost, size and power consumption of the whole system.

Computing services and data services are expected to become an integral component of the future IMT system. Emerging technology trends include processing data at the network edge close to the data source for real-time response, low data transport costs, energy efficiency and privacy protection, as well as scaling out device computing capability for advanced application computing workloads.

Device-to-device (D2D) wireless communication with extremely high throughput, ultra-accuracy positioning and low latency will be an important communication paradigm for the future IMT. Technologies such as THz technology, ultra-accuracy sidelink positioning and enhance terminal power reduction technology can be considered to satisfy requirements of new applications.

Energy efficiency and low power consumption comprises both the user device and the network’s perspectives. The promising technologies include energy harvesting, backscattering communications, on-demand access technologies, etc.

To achieve real-time communications with extremely low latency communications, two essential technology components are considered: accurate time and frequency information shared in the network and fine-grained and proactive just-in-time radio access.

There is a need to ensure security, privacy, and resilient solutions allowing for the legitimate exchange of sensitive information through network entities. Potential technologies to enhance trustworthiness include those for RAN privacy, such as distributed ledger technologies, differential privacy and federated learning, quantum technology with respect to the RAN and physical-layer security technologies.


Summary of ITU-R Workshop on “IMT for 2030 and beyond” (aka “6G”)


Development of “IMT Vision for 2030 and beyond” from ITU-R WP 5D

ITU-R: Future Technology Trends for the evolution of IMT towards 2030 and beyond (including 6G)

China’s MIIT to prioritize 6G project, accelerate 5G and gigabit optical network deployments in 2023

ITU-R WP5D: Studies on technical feasibility of IMT in bands above 100 GHz (Sept 2015)



ITU-R WP 5D new reports on IMT for PPDR applications, Terrestrial IMT for Cellular-Vehicle-to-Everything, 6G Vision & more

At its March 2021 virtual meeting, ITU-R WP5D completed a revision of the report ITU-R M.2291-1The use of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) for broadband Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR) applications includes the IMT-2020 and 5G aspects in this public safety focused report to update the current report which was only based on IMT-Advanced 3GPP LTE technology. This revision was completed by ITU-R WP 5D and forwarded to Study Group 5 for action when they next meet in November 2021.


ITU-R M.[IMT.C-V2X] – The use of the terrestrial component of IMT systems for Cellular-Vehicle-to-Everything

WP 5D is also developing a draft new report ITU-R M.[IMT.C-V2X] – The use of the terrestrial component of IMT systems for Cellular-Vehicle-to-Everything is intended to addresses the mutual relationship between IMT technologies and Cellular-Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) as a specific application and elements of functions in IMT technologies that are used to realize C-V2X application.

Further, the report provides details on Overview on Usage of IMT technology, use cases, relationship between IMT and C-V2X, characteristics and capabilities supported by IMT, and case studies associated with C-V2X for the various scenarios including eMBB, mMTC, and URLLC of terrestrial component of IMT. 


Development of draft new report ITU-R M.[IMT.FUTURE TECHNOLOGY TRENDS TOWARDS 2030 AND BEYOND]

The draft new Report ITU-R M.[IMT.FUTURE TECHNOLOGY TRENDS TOWARDS 2030 AND BEYOND] is intended as a precursor to a “beyond IMT-2020” vision document for 6G that ITU-R WP 5D intends to produce in 2022. This trends report will assess where the technology is, and the current uses are for IMT-2020/5G and seek to identify the gaps and technical enablers anticipated to be necessary in the 2030 timeframe.

Furthermore, the expectation is that this Report will energize the academic and technology community to engage in the research and developments necessary to underpin a “beyond IMT-2020 and 6G view) as just focusing on new uses cases is insufficient to build such a future and the technology evolution requires a long lead time to fruition. 



The draft new Report ITU-R M.[IMT TERRESTRIAL BROADBAND REMOTE COVERAGE] – Terrestrial IMT for remote sparsely populated areas providing high data rate coverage is intended to provide details on scenarios associated with the provisioning of enhanced mobile broadband services to remote sparsely populated and underserved areas with a discussion on enhancements of user and network equipment.

It will distinguish between extending coverage on already deployed network and defining a use/case for deployment environment and is meant to meant to evaluate technical solutions required to extend the coverage of IMT system rather than discussing deployment layout for rural environments. The completion dates have been extended to the 39th WP 5D meeting (October 2021).


Development of a draft new report ITU-R M.[IMT 2020.TDD.SYNCHRONIZATION]

The draft new report ITU-R [IMT2020.TDD.SYNCHRONIZATION] is intended to address the study of the aspects of synchronization operations of multiple IMT-2020 TDD networks in close proximity using the same frequency band, including analyses of coexistence issues when IMT operators utilize different synchronization modes, performance evaluation under different synchronization modes, and coexistence mitigation strategies.

The Report considers the further impacts of the introduction of technical advancement such as active antenna systems, etc. The completion dates were extended to the 41st WP 5D meeting (June 2022).


Source: Chairman’s Report 37th e-meeting of Working Party 5D (1-12 March 2021 – Virtual), April 13, 2021

U.S. Government on 5G Integrated and Open Networks + ATIS on U.S. 6G Leadership

In a speech he was scheduled to deliver (but didn’t) Thursday at a Global CTO Roundtable on 5G Integrated and Open Networks (ION), U.S. Attorney General William Barr wrote (bold font added):

The United States and our partners are in an urgent race against the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to develop and build 5G infrastructure around the world. Our national security and the flourishing of our liberal democratic values here and around the world depend on our winning it.

Future 5G networks will be a critical piece of global infrastructure, the central nervous system of the global economy. Unfortunately, the PRC is well on its way to seizing a decisive 5G advantage. If the PRC wins the 5G race, the geopolitical, economic, and national security consequences will be staggering. The PRC knows this, which explains why it is using every lever of power to expand its 5G market share around the globe. The community of free and democratic nations must do the same.

To compete and win against the PRC juggernaut, the United States and its partners must work closely with trusted vendors to pursue practical and realistic strategies that can turn the tide now.  Although the ‘Open RAN’ approach is not a solution to our immediate problem, the concept of Integrated and Open Networks (ION), which was the topic of yesterday’s roundtable, holds promise and should be explored. We can win the race, but we must act now.

From Mung Chiang of the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Advisor:

With a broad, inclusive tent of what “open” means, a nuanced appreciation of network deployment reality, and a more solid view on architectural choices, ION becomes one of the areas where the United States and partner countries can lead in 5G innovation. We invite technology leaders in the industry to help make that happen. Speed is the key to winning the 5G race.

While technology should not be mistaken as a solution to the fundamental problem of a distorted market, its exploration is still useful. ION and Edge Computing, for example, are two areas of innovation to realize 5G’s promise of a new level of responsiveness and scale. Such innovation leadership, along with the Clean Networks initiative and supply chain security form three prongs in a global strategy for 5G.


Separately, the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) has issued a call to action to promote U.S. 6G leadership.

“While innovation can be triggered in reaction to current market needs, technology leadership at a national level requires an early commitment and development that addresses U.S. needs as well as a common vision and set of objectives,” said Susan Miller, President and CEO of ATIS, possibly in acknowledgement of the panic the U.S. has got itself into over 5G and of recent developments in China.


Comment, analysis and assessment:

Mobile standards are global in nature, so talk of regional races seems disingenuous if not counter-productive.  It is bad enough that there are six competing IMT 2020 RITs (Radio Interface Technologies) from five different countries/regions being progressed by ITU-R WP5D for IMT 2020.specs with three  based on 3GPP 5G NR (Release 15 and 16):  China, Korea, India (TSDSI).  In addition to 3GPPs RIT/SRIT submissions (from ATIS), there are also the DECT/ETSI IMT 2020 RIT submission based on DECT NR and the Nufront (Chinese company) submission based on their own 5G radio which supposedly supports ultra low latency.

What Attorney General Barr probably means is that he’s worried U.S. 5G networks are going to be second rate compared to the Chinese equivalent from Huawei and ZTE.  However, he said that Open RAN is NOT a solution to the U.S.’ current “5G problem.”  Barr and Ms Chiang say that ION is a more viable approach (what the *&^%$** is ION?).  In particular, “ION becomes one of the areas where the United States and partner countries can lead in 5G innovation.” author Scott Bicheno wrote:  “Any non-Chinese telecoms company with a few bright ideas would be well advised to stick close to the U.S. government as the public money tap seems to be well and truly open.”



US ramps up the ‘5G race’ rhetoric

With no 5G standard (IMT 2020) China is working on 6G!

Consumers can’t buy 5G phones yet. But China is already talking about what comes next: 6G.  The concept of 6G is still very much unkown, but experts expect speeds in the range of 1 Tbps. Researchers have already achieved mobile speeds of 1 Tbps during lab trials.

The head of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s (MIIT) 5G technology working group, Su Xin, told local media he also expects 6G to deliver improvements across the same three areas as 5G will deliver – improved bandwidth, low latency and wide connection areas.

Su Xin, head of 5G technology working group at China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said that China is starting research into 6G concepts this year. The country first started looking into 6G in March, making it one of the first countries to do so.

Su said that the actual development of 6G will officially begin in 2020, but commercial use will most likely have to wait until 2030.

The arrival of 5G has been touted as a big deal. It’s not just because it promises to bring fast mobile internet, it should also enable us to connect with machines – like gadgets, industrial machines and autonomous vehicles.  For those Rip Van Winkle readers, “5G” is the name of the next-generation wireless technology that promises far faster internet access than 4G-LTE.  Experts predict it will begin to take off in 2019, well in advance of the IMT 2020 standard from ITU-R.  So what is 6G supposed to bring that 5G can’t, especially for ordinary folks?

For one thing, it could make mobile internet speeds of 1 TB per second mainstream. This means you could download around 100 films in less than a second. (It’s worth noting that researchers at the University of Surrey in England have already achieved that with 5G… but only inside a lab.)

Of course, 2030 is a long way away, so the actual applications of this technology may be hard to imagine. As Verizon executive Andrea Caldini pointed out at this year’s Mobile World Congress, nobody expected Snapchat while developing 4G – it’s the increased speeds that made it happen.

According to Su, 6G could connect our devices more efficiently than 5G, expanding internet coverage to much wider areas.

“5G has three application scenarios: large bandwidth, low latency, and wide connection – I think 6G can achieve better application in all three scenarios,” Su told local media, noting that 6G could increase transmission rates by more than 10 times. “It may revolutionize the structure of the whole wired and wireless network.”

If this sounds vague to you, it’s because there is still no definition for the technology. And according to industry insiders, it is too early to talk about 6G. It took 5G ten years to develop its set of standards, and despite commercial deployment this year, they are still not fully settled. So is 6G even a thing?

Roberto Saracco, professor at the University of Trento in Italy, believes that 5G is still a fuzzy set of promises that will take time, probably ten years, before being fulfilled. As for the next generation of connectivity, “marketing will need 6G as soon as 5G is deployed,” writes Saracco. Researchers will need a term to mark the novelty of what they are doing or to put technologies that do not fit into 5G standards into another box.

The vagueness of the term has not stopped countries to start looking into the concept. Finland’s University of Oulu launched an 6G research program called 6Genesis. Aside from futuristic phrases like “interoperability sensing based ops” and “intelligent personal edge,” one of the applications mentioned on their site is wireless augmented reality/virtual reality.

It’s worth noting that this might be an application for 5G, judging by Tencent boss Pony Ma’s suggestion that the technology could enable WeChat VR.

The new 6G movement in China could also be a way to rub their tech advancement in other people’s faces. The country is already way ahead of US in deploying 5G, according to Deloitte. Since 2015, China outspent the US by approximately $24 billion in wireless communications infrastructure (with $400 billion more coming) and built 350,000 new cell phone tower sites – while the US is still stuck at less than 30,000.

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