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China Launches World’s First 6G Satellite

by : Hannah Smith on : 09 Nov 2020 18:26
UETSC/Twitter

Most of us haven’t even got access to 5G yet, but it looks like China is already onto the next stage, with the country launching what they say is the world’s first 6G satellite into space.

The satellite, which is expected to be used to test out the new spectrum that will eventually deliver 6G speeds, was reportedly launched from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in Shanxi Province on Friday.

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The Chinese government announced research into 6G had begun just days after 5G launched in the country. The future network is still some way off becoming a reality – China is targeting 2030 for the first rollout – but engineers have claimed that it will eventually be able to generate speeds 100 times faster than current connections.

The satellite actually carries little in the way of proven 6G technology, but it is expected test the high-frequency terahertz waves that will eventually form the basis of the network.

Experts have said that terahertz waves, possibly alongside Artificial Intelligence, will help to build a connection capable of delivering high speeds at greater capacity with even less lag than the 5G network currently being rolled out across the world.

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Terahertz waves can carry data at approximately 50 gigabits per second, with today’s wireless networks capable of a top speed of around 500 megabytes.

Quoted by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, Xu Yangsheng, an engineer at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said:

6G is to combine the satellite communication network with the ground communication network,

This experimental satellite marks the first time the technology of terahertz communication would be verified when applied in space

The satellite, which was named after the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, weighs roughly 70 kilograms, and was launched alongside 12 other satellites also carrying equipment used for crop monitoring and forest fire prevention in China.

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