Back 2021.01.08

6G Pioneers: Lithuanian Scientists Laying Foundation for Next Generation Wireless Network

While the world is still getting used to the idea of 5G and how it will shape the new age of tech, ambitious Lithuanian engineers are already making their way through developing the technology behind the 6G wireless.

With the deployment of the fifth generation network, Lithuanian scientists have already kicked-off the groundwork for the sixth-gen network. It will be based on high frequency terahertz waves, which are presumed to correct the flaws of 5G’s mmWave network, and contribute to heightened development of artificial intelligence, holographic communications and high precision manufacturing.

Although 5G comes with the capacity to handle copious amounts of data, 6G will be operating on a higher frequency bandwidth and will carry hard-to-image amounts of information at incredible speed, thus enabling it to reap the benefits of next-gen wireless at a greater scale. In essence, 6G will consider the flaws of its predecessors and aim to further improve on them to deliver higher output value.

The Institute of Applied Electrodynamics and Telecommunications at Vilnius University, led by prof. Jonas Matukas and prof. Alvydas Lisauskas, has been researching terahertz technology for years and contributed to the developments of previous networks (4G and 5G).

“Innovation in the telecommunications industry is progressing as quickly as ever, and we are thrilled to be part of the frontrunners, helping the industry step into yet another wireless era,” said Kęstutis Ikamas, the leader of the project. “Lithuanian scientists are well-equipped with resources and experience, thus we are committed to leading the in-depth research and paving the way for the next-gen network.”

The work of high frequency network connections is also progressing in France, US, Japan, Germany, and China. Companies specializing in Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Internet of Things have already shown interest in the new technology behind the 6G network.

“5G has significantly raised our expectations of what to expect in the future, with smart cities and autonomous cars being just the tip of the iceberg,” said Kęstutis Ikamas. “The sixth-gen will take the ideas of new age tech one step further: for starters, by introducing substantial computational capacity and enabling brand new applications for artificial intelligence.”

Dipping its toes into uncharted waters of novel tech is not new to Lithuanians. The country began its first 5G network trials back in 2018. In addition, its tech-friendly environment is well reflected by the fact that it has one of the fastest internet connections in the world. Recently, Lithuanian government has approved further development guidelines for 5G – that will open new doors in creating an effective legal and investment environment in Lithuania and support building important foreign partnerships.

“In terms of telecommunications, Lithuania already has a well-developed market, allowing users to benefit from its speed, quality and low cost,” said Mindaugas Ubartas, CEO at INFOBALT. “Maintaining a strong focus on research, development and early adoption of the new technologies presents more opportunities to  introduce new business models, as well as accumulate in-depth know-how, which could be exported.”

“5G is already an integral part of the digital economy. According to the study by McKinsey, if further developing digital economy areas, Lithuania could increase its GDP by €8 billion,” Mr. Ubartas continued. “This is extremely beneficial for all parts of the society, including government, businesses and citizens,” he added.

Ultimately, creating the high-frequency terahertz technology could be the next big technological breakthrough, directly contributing to the country’s technological advancement and international competitiveness, as well as the overall progress of digital society.

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