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Experimental 6G trials begin with NEC, DOCOMO AND NTT

By Jessie Chiang
Wed 8 Jun 2022

NEC Corporation is collaborating with NTT DOCOMO and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) on sixth-generation mobile communication system experimental trials.

The company says 6G will require dramatic advances in communications technology to achieve 10 to 100 times higher speeds and capacities than the 5th generation mobile communication system (5G).

It says 6G will require ultra-low power consumption of 1/100 and coverage that reaches from the ocean's depths to the heights of outer space.

NEC says it will work with DOCOMO and NTT on a distributed Multi Input Multi Output (MIMO) technology. It is expected to increase the stability of communication even in a high-frequency band, which is highly linear and susceptible to shielding material, and it is promising for using the high-frequency bands of 6G.

The company says it also wants to work on OAM multiplex transmission technology, which looks at increasing the number of data signals to be transmitted simultaneously.

NEC says this is achieved by placing a signal on a plurality of radio waves having different orbital angular momentum status (OAM mode) and transmitting them wirelessly. It says combining conventional polarisation multiplexing methods can reach even higher frequency utilisation efficiency and larger capacity. 

The company says using millimetre waves and sub terahertz waves is desired to expand the transmission distance.

NEC says it will also conduct R&D on device technologies to reduce the size and power consumption, as well as high-precision beamforming technologies, transmission methods and propagation models suitable for high-frequency bands.

It says this is in addition to the development of optimisation and signal processing technologies using AI. 

NEC aims to develop these technologies enough to be put to use with the start of 6G services by DOCOMO and NTT around 2030.

DOCOMO executive vice president and chief technology officer Naoki Tani says NEC and DOCOMO have been collaborating since 2014 to verify wireless technologies and create new use cases for the commercial launch of 5G.

"We are delighted to collaborate with NEC as a partner in these trials of 6G technology," he says.

"DOCOMO and NTT will now start verification of technologies that enable stable communication in new frequency bands, such as sub-terahertz bands, realise large capacity and contribute to 6G commercialisation with vertical industry partners."

NEC views 6G as a dramatic evolution in radio technology and as a social infrastructure that combines optical communications and operational sophistication through the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) by NTT, an advanced communications infrastructure incorporating cutting-edge photonics, computing and other technologies.

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