Researchers from Hiroshima University and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology in Japan said Monday that they have developed a terahertz (THz) transmitter capable of transmitting "data at a rate exceeding 100 gigabits per second over a single channel." They add that this translates to being able to download a DVD's worth of data over-the-air in a fraction of a second.
Those 100Gbit/s-plus speeds, by the way, equal 0.1 terabit per second. The researchers say that means the system -- developed with Panasonic Corp. (NYSE: PC) -- enables a connection ten times faster than future 5G networks. This depends, however, on who is talking about 5G speeds. In the US, we've already seen speeds ranging from anywhere between 1 Gbit/s and 15 Gbit/s talked about in different 5G trials. (See Verizon Hits 1-Gig+ in 5G Trials, Eyes Early Applications and US Cellular Tests Fixed 5G With Ericsson .)
The researchers used a single 300GHz channel for the terahertz antenna transmissions. This means that the system is operating at the very highest edge of the millimeter wave band. Millimeter wave (mmWave) radios broadcast on frequencies ranging from 30GHz to 300GHz. Signals above 100GHz are also defined as transmissions in the "terahertz band." (See 60GHz: A Frequency to Watch.)
This is why the question of antenna signal range is interesting. Terahertz band signals get extremely attenuated over distances of meters rather than kilometers, even with sensitive transmitter and receiver systems.
I've written to the Hiroshima University researchers, asking for details on the range of their terahertz transmitter system. I'll update the story if I get further information.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading