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Communications of the ACM


Terahertz Networks Move Closer to Reality

frequency waveform, illustration

Credit: Getty Images

Wireless technologies have advanced by leaps and bounds over the last several decades. Speeds have increased dramatically, connectivity has improved, and wireless network protocols—including Wi-Fi and cellular—have become ubiquitous. Today, a reasonably fast, persistent wireless connection is available in most parts of the world.

Yet, despite all the gains, today's wireless networks are still relatively limited in terms of how they handle large volumes of data. Connection speeds are adequate for basic tasks like Web browsing, videoconferencing, e-commerce, gaming, streaming videos, and exchanging messages. However, as new and more resource-intensive technology enters the picture and the Internet of Things (IoT) expands, the need for bandwidth is growing—in some cases, by an order of magnitude.


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