6G wireless technology

On the verge of 6G?

Join us on the road to 6G

The basis for the next generation of wireless communication is in revolutionary technology components that demand new ways of testing

Every mobile network generation propels new features and a wealth of new opportunities. While the 5G New Radio (5G NR) network rollouts are in full swing, 6G is already starting to find its form.

Rohde & Schwarz has been closely involved in this process right from the start and actively supports the ongoing fundamental research activities at 6G organizations, universities and research institutes across Europe, in the US and Japan. Together with our partners and customers, we are actively adapting our test solutions to support this early research phase on what might be ultimately called 6G.

Main 6G testing research areas

What will constitute the technological backbone of 6G?

The academia and key industry players have identified several research areas for enabling the next generation of wireless communication.

A natural starting point is increasing bandwidth and boosting data throughput to new dimensions using (sub-)THz communication to propel 6G applications such as holographic communication and digital twinning. THz frequencies provide access to wider bandwidths. This opens up the possibility to change the way we will interact with our devices by further improving features like gesture recognition to support extended reality (XR)-based applications, for example the Metaverse.

Compared to previous mobile network generations, 6G will take advantage of joint communication and sensing that will integrate localization, sensing and communication into a future 6G standard.

5G Advanced already starts to pave the way for using artificial intelligence and its subset machine learning for the next generation of wireless communications. These preparations will allow a 6G network to learn at least partially to configure, optimize and heal itself instead of relying solely on complex preplanning procedures. As a next step it is expected that parts of the air interface, in particular signal processing algorithms, are supported and eventually replaced with machine learning models. Thus, a 6G wireless communication standard will natively support an AI-based air interface.

6G research also focuses on reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RIS), a novel way of supporting a wireless communication link by reflecting and actively steering an incoming signal off surfaces using meta materials. Whatever direction the technology is taking, Rohde & Schwarz is firmly in the forefront of 6G research. Early research as well as the arrival of 6G technology will require leading-edge test and measurement solutions to address a multitude of technical challenges. We are committed to overcoming these challenges to ensure an innovative outlook when shaping our wireless future.

#ThinkSix video series

ThinkSix - Phase noise characterization in the D-band

#ThinkSix - Phase noise characterization in the D-band

This video introduces the topic of phase noise, demonstrates a test setup for investigating phase noise for the latest communication systems, and with D band (110-170 GHz) frequencies a hot tip for 6G research, shows extensions to the setup to investigate the higher frequencies.

ThinkSix - 6G Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces (RIS)

#ThinkSix - 6G Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces (RIS)

This video introduces Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces (RIS) and presents how Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces can achieve previously unattainable coverage, spectral and power efficiency, and reduced propagation.

#Think Six - Is it time for wireless communication to get smart(er) with AI/ML? Part 3.

#ThinkSix - Is it time for wireless communication to get smart(er) with AI/ML? Part 3.

This video looks into the future to see whether this work can transform the air interface for a 6G standard.

#Think Six - Is it time for wireless communication to get smart(er) with AI/ML? Part 2.

#ThinkSix - Is it time for wireless communication to get smart(er) with AI/ML? Part 2.

This video looks at 3GPP Release 18 (5G-Advanced), in which industry experts start to determine whether machine learning shall bring a significant benefit, by initially studying three specific use cases.

Think Six - Is it time for wireless communication to get smart(er) with AI/ML? Part 1.

#ThinkSix - Is it time for wireless communication to get smart(er) with AI/ML? Part 1.

This video introduces the background theory and terminology of AI and ML.

6G white papers, webinars and more


Webinar: Towards 6G: The role of photonics in THz communications

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Video: Testing 6G JCAS in FR2 frequency bands

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Towards 6G: AI/ML-based neural receiver
Video: Towards 6G: AI/ML-based neural receiver

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Webinar: RIS – shaping the radio channel for best connectivity

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Webinar: Testing 6G sub-THz communication

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Webinar: 5G NTN takes flight: 5G non-terrestrial networks evolving towards 6G

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White papers

White paper: Fundamentals of THz technology for 6G

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Webinar: The role of AI/ML in future wireless communications

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Webinar: THz communication - a key enabler for beyond 5G?

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Poster: Microwaves and beyond

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White papers

White paper: 5G evolution – on the path to 6G

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 Application Card

Application card: Measure noise figure above 110 GHz

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 Application Note

Application note: Measurement Setup for Phase Noise Test at Frequencies above 50 GHz

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Be equipped for early sub-THz and 6G research activities

Coming soon: R&S®FE170ST & R&S®FE170SR frontends - the perfect solution for early sub-terahertz and 6G research activities. The easy-to-use, fully-calibrated solution is compatible to the Rohde & Schwarz signal generator and analyzer environment, extending the frequency range to D-Band (110 GHz to 170 GHz).

Start 6G testing today

R&S®FSWP Phase Noise Analyzer

R&S®FSWP Phase Noise Analyzer and VCO Tester

The R&S®FSWP phase noise analyzer and VCO tester combines extremely low noise internal sources and cross correlation technology, delivering extremely high sensitivity for phase noise measurements up to 50 GHz, but also for frequencies up to 500 GHz while using external harmonic mixers.

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Performance leadership without compromise. The R&S®SMA100B RF and microwave signal generator is unchallenged in terms of output power, with the lowest harmonics and phase noise performance.

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The R&S®FSW is setting the bar high, providing excellent phase noise performance and is the signal and spectrum analyzer with the widest analysis bandwidth on the market.

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The R&S®ZNA provides unparalleled measurement flexibility, utilizing phase-stable and phase-coherent sources, a multiple LO architecture and a true multi-channel receiver design.

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R&S®ZCxxx Frequency converters


The ZCxxx family of frequency converters deliver unprecedented performance in mmWave applications. High output power, wide dynamic range and measurement stability provide proven benefits in wideband applications.

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Frequently asked questions on 6G wireless technology

What is 6G technology?

6G is the sixth generation of wireless communications networks and will include several new technology components compared to previous generations. These are, for example, THz communication, joint communication and sensing, artificial intelligence and machine learning as well as reconfigurable intelligent surfaces.

How fast will 6G be?

While 6G will work on the same frequencies as 4G LTE (410 MHz to 6 GHz) and 5G New Radio (410 MHz to 7.125 GHz and 24.25 to 71 GHz) 6G will add the support for an additional frequency layer and support sub-THz frequencies. The reason is that 6G targets peak data rates of up to 1 Tbps and to achieve these data rates wider bandwidths of 8 GHz (or more) are required. These wide bandwidths are only available at these higher frequencies in the THz frequency range.

What is the difference between 5G and 6G?

6G wireless communication will include several technology components not available in today’s 5G standard. For example, support for THz based communication, joint communication and sensing, artificial intelligence and machine learning as well as reconfigurable intelligent surfaces.

When is 6G ready?

The typical technology cycle for a wireless communication standard is 10 years. 5G New Radio launched commercially in 2019. While 5G network deployments are in full swing and there is a clear evolution path for 5G, academic institutions and research institutes started fundamental research for the next generation of wireless communication, commonly known as 6G. Based on current industry predictions, commercial deployment of 6G wireless communication networks will start in late 2029 or early 2030.

What are the 6G applications?

6G will offer a vast range of new uses cases and applications, which include among others truly immersive extended reality, holographic communication including mobile holograms, digital twinning and replicas. Most of these applications have unprecedented performance requirements that cannot be fulfilled by today’s communication standards.

What frequencies will 6G use?

Similar to 5G New Radio standard, 6G will also take advantage of frequency range 1 (FR1) up to 7.125 GHz and frequency range 2 (FR2) mmWave from 24.25 GHz to 71 GHz. In addition, current research suggests that 6G will use THz frequencies and frequencies from 7.125 GHz to 24.25 GHz, often summarized as FR3

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