Sophia Antipolis, 05 April 2024

ETSI is pleased to announce the release of the first two Group Reports developed by its Terahertz Industry Specification Group (ISG THz). They are addressing key elements in this initial phase of the pre-standardization works for THz communications: the use-cases and the spectrum. 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. Complementing the work of other ETSI Technical Bodies and other SDOs, the group concentrates on establishing the technical foundation for the development and standardization of THz communications.

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.

PR THz TwofirstReports 1 

Figure 1: Use case mapping to application areas

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.

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

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