Keywords Explained: Millimeter Wave

Keywords Explained: Millimeter Wave

Ryo Kunieda

“Millimeter wave” refers to radio waves with wavelengths of 1 to 10 millimeters and frequency between 30 to 300 gigahertz that can be used for high-speed communications.

Millimeter wave: a radio wave suitable for 5G’s high-speed, high-volume communications

SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) is rapidly deploying its 5G network and expanding service area coverage by building base stations compatible with “millimeter wave” (often abbreviated as “mmWave”). But what is millimeter wave and why is it relevant to mobile communications?

Radio wave usage is found in all aspects of our lives, including services such as mobile communications, television and radio broadcasting, police and government radio communications, GPS, microwave ovens, and automatic ticket gates. There are different types of radio waves, which are generally classified by frequency, which represents the number of electrical vibrations repeated per second.

The seven frequency categories are ultra-long wave, long wave, medium wave, short wave, ultrashort wave, very short wave, and microwave, with millimeter wave belonging to the highest frequency category: microwave. Millimeter wave has a high linearity and can send large volumes of data at a time. This is the reason why millimeter wave is a mainstream frequency used in 5G communications, which handles large amounts of data traffic, such as video content.

Terahertz wave usage on the horizon for 6G

SoftBank achieved 90% population coverage for its 5G network in Japan in March 2022, and it continues to expand coverage with millimeter wave compatible base stations. But what frequencies lie ahead further into the future? To achieve even higher speeds and volumes with 6G communications, SoftBank is researching terahertz wave, which lies at an even higher frequency than millimeter wave.

Learn more in this article about millimeter wave and terahertz wave:

(Posted on May 31, 2022, Original article posted on May 9)
by SoftBank News Editors