ITU Defines Frequency Bands for 6G Studies

December 18, 2023

Written by Caio Castro
CATEGORY: Exclusives
TAGS: 6G, itu, WRC-23

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has defined several frequency ranges in the sub-Terahertz band for future 6G network studies. The 2023 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-23) resolution COM6/17 establishes the following areas for the development of the next generation of mobile communications:

  • 102-109.5 GHz
  • 151.5-164 GHz
  • 167-174.8 GHz
  • 209-226 GHz
  • 252-275 GHz

According to the resolution, the Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) must complete the investigations in time for the WRC-31. The task has already been added to the event’s preliminary agenda.

The studies have to consider the technical and operational characteristics of terrestrial 6G systems operating in these suggested frequency bands, including the evolution of IMT through technological advances and spectrally efficient techniques.

The resolution goes on to say that ITU-R must take into account the deployment scenarios envisaged for 6G systems and the requirements of high data traffic, such as in dense urban areas and at peak times.

The investigations also need to include the developing countries’ demands and set up a timeframe in which spectrum would be required.

The 6 GHz band

In addition to the sub-Terahertz frequency bands, the ITU introduced the 6.425-7.125 GHz range for every region, which promises to help establish 6G in the future.

“The 6 GHz band is the only remaining mid-band spectrum currently available to respond to the data traffic growth in the 5G-Advanced era,” noted the telco association GSMA in a press release.

“The WRC-23 decision to harmonise the 6 GHz band in every ITU Region is a pivotal milestone, bringing billions of people into a harmonised 6 GHz mobile footprint. It also serves as a critical developmental trigger for manufacturers of the 6 GHz equipment ecosystem,” GSMA stated.

ITU Paving the 6G Road

Before this year’s WRC, ITU members officially set the agenda for the 6G development during the Radiocommunication Assembly 2023 (RA-23) in November.

Among the outcomes of discussions, members ​agreed on “IMT-2030″ as the technical reference for 6G. They also revised the ITU-R Resolution 65, paving the way for studies on the compatibility of current regulations with potential 6G IMT radio interface technologies for 2030 and beyond.

In addition to that, they also adopted the new Recommendation ITU-R M. 2160 on the “IMT-2030 Framework,” setting the basis for the development of IMT-2030.

Featured image by ITU

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