A New Record for Terahertz Transmission

Engineers achieve amazing data rates in a once-inaccessible band

3 min read
A New Record for Terahertz Transmission
Illustration: Emily Cooper

The problem with the radio spectrum between 3 and 3000 megahertz is that it’s crowded. Television, radio, mobile phones, Bluetooth, GPS, two-way communication devices, and Wi-Fi all operate in this high- to ultrahigh-frequency range. So with nowhere to go but up, researchers have been working for decades to utilize the 3- to 3000-gigahertz span. In October, a team reported a hopeful sign—a record 100-gigabit-per-second wireless data transmission.

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The Cellular Industry’s Clash Over the Movement to Remake Networks

The wireless industry is divided on Open RAN’s goal to make network components interoperable

13 min read
Photo: George Frey/AFP/Getty Images
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We've all been told that 5G wireless is going to deliver amazing capabilities and services. But it won't come cheap. When all is said and done, 5G will cost almost US $1 trillion to deploy over the next half decade. That enormous expense will be borne mostly by network operators, companies like AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, and dozens more around the world that provide cellular service to their customers. Facing such an immense cost, these operators asked a very reasonable question: How can we make this cheaper and more flexible?

Their answer: Make it possible to mix and match network components from different companies, with the goal of fostering more competition and driving down prices. At the same time, they sparked a schism within the industry over how wireless networks should be built. Their opponents—and sometimes begrudging partners—are the handful of telecom-equipment vendors capable of providing the hardware the network operators have been buying and deploying for years.

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