Doctoral course - Sub-Terahertz and Terahertz Communications: 6G or not 6G?

In this course, after a high-level overview of the expected role of the THz band in 6G communications and sensing systems, the lessons learned through both physics-based and data-driven channel modelling efforts will be summarized and utilized to drive the design of tailored communication and networking solutions.

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The course requires registration. Register by 24.11 from

Background and motivation:

Wireless communications in the sub-terahertz and terahertz (THz) bands (or broadly speaking, from 100 GHz up to 10 THz) have been envisioned by both academia and industry as a key enabler of future sixth generation (6G) wireless networks. The very large available bandwidth at THz frequencies offers enormous potential to alleviate the spectrum scarcity problem and break the capacity limitation of existing wireless communication systems. Consequently, THz communications are expected to support epoch-making wireless applications that demand reliable multi-terabits per second data rates, ranging from holographic communications, extended reality and ultra-high-definition content streaming among mobile devices, to wireless backhaul connectivity and even satellite communication networks that can help us bridge the digital divide. Moreover, beyond communications, the THz band opens the door to new forms of wireless sensing beyond radar and localization, including air quality monitoring, climate change study and even nano-bio sensing for transformative healthcare applications.


In the last five years, there has been major progress towards closing the so-called THz gap. Accordingly, the goal of this short course is to provide an updated look at the field of sub-THz communications, (i) explaining how some of the many envisioned problems have already been solved and (ii) highlighting the key critical challenges that remain open or have emerged due to unforeseen phenomena. In the lectures, after a high-level overview of the expected role of the THz band in 6G communications and sensing systems, the lessons learnt through both physics-based and data-driven channel modelling efforts will be summarized and utilized to drive the design of tailored communication and networking solutions. Then, a comprehensive survey of recent highly innovative solutions and open challenges will be provided, including those related to ultrabroadband physical layer solutions (e.g., waveform and wavefront design), ultra-directional networking strategies (e.g., interference and coverage analysis, beam discovery and tracking, resource allocation and multiple access, multi-hop relaying), and integration of THz communications with other 6G enablers (e.g., intelligent reflecting surfaces, non-terrestrial networks, machine learning). Emphasis will be given to understand the mathematical tools, simulation platforms, experimental testbeds, and data-sets available to the community. The course content is planned to include lectures, small exercises, and studying the background reading. Overall, the proposed course will be beneficial for a wide audience of telecom students’ diverse backgrounds ranging from channel and physical layer to computer networking.

Learning Outcomes:

After completing the course, a student will:

  • Understand the specifics of the THz communication systems, the key latest achievements in the area, technology standards (including the IEEE 802.15.3d) and the main trade-offs associated with the different alternatives.
  • Understand the use cases and applications and the future development trends in THz communications.
  • Know tools and state-of-the-art research methods
  • Know about the open research problems and engineering challenges toward the development and the successful adoption of the sub-THz and THz connectivity as a part of 6G and 6G+ stack of wireless technologies.

Lecturer bio:

Dr. Vitaly Petrov is a Principal Research Scientist with Northeastern University (NU), Boston, MA, USA, and a member of the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things directed by Tommaso Melodia and Josep Jornet. Before joining NU in 2022, Vitaly was a Senior Standardization Specialist with Nokia Bell Labs and later Nokia Standards working on supporting extended reality (XR) devices in next-generation cellular networks, as well as on extending New Radio operation toward the 60 GHz mmWave band. Vitaly obtained his Ph.D. degree from Tampere University, Finland in 2020. Vitaly was a visiting researcher with the State University of New York, the University of Texas at Austin, Georgia Institute of Technology, Technical University of Braunschweig, and King’s College London. Vitaly’s research interests are in terahertz and sub-terahertz band communications for 6G and beyond. He is a recipient of the Best Student Paper Award at IEEE VTC-Fall 2015, the Best Student Poster Award at IEEE WCNC 2017, and the Best Student Journal Paper Award from IEEE Finland in 2019.

Course organization and program:

The course will be organized as a two-day intensive course composing 8 hours of lecturing in Oulu in on (tentative) week 48 (i.e., 27 November-1 December) 2023, followed by an exam required to obtain ECTS study credits from the course for the students interested in this. Additionally, some small exercises and reading materials will be recommended for the students.

Day 1

9-00 -- 10-00 Lecture 1. Introduction / Use cases / Devices

10-00 ---10-30 Coffee Break

10-30 --- 11-30 Lecture 2. Line-of-Sight THz Channel

11-30 --- 13-00 Lunch

13-00 --- 14-00 Lecture 3. Non-line-of-sight THz Channel

14-00 --- 14-30 Coffee Break

14-30 --- 15-30 Lecture 4. Near-field THz Channel

Day 2

9-00 -- 10-00 Lecture 5. THz Physical layer

10-00 ---10-30 Coffee Break

10-30 --- 11-30 Lecture 6. THz Networking (MAC and higher layers)

11-30 --- 13-00 Lunch

13-00 --- 14.00 Lecture 7. Regulation and Standardization of THz systems

14-00 --- 14-30 Coffee Break

14-30 --- 15-30 Lecture 8. 6G or not 6G?: What to expect and when? Key research questions remain open.

(bonus: lab focus, research insights and possible areas of cooperation)

Last updated: 21.11.2023