The increase of data traffic, a demand for high-speed reliable mobile networks and congested frequency bands raised both technological and regulatory challenges. Therefore, the fifth-generation mobile network (5G) is being developed. Recently, researchers have focused on a very promising terahertz (THz) band (frequencies from 100 GHz to 30 THz), which will allow fast transmission of huge amounts of data. However, transmission distance is limited due to atmospheric attenuation, as THz waves undergo significant absorption by water vapor and oxygen molecules in the atmosphere. Moreover, THz waves are very vulnerable by precipitation. Furthermore, the path of the propagating waves changes due to variations of the atmospheric refractive index. Nevertheless, the THz networks could be perfect candidates for fiber-to-THz bridges in difficult-to-access areas. The aim of this chapter is to present the possibilities and challenges of the THz networks from a point of view of atmospheric attenuation. The results show that simulations of the atmospheric attenuation using real-time data are a powerful tool that should complement technological basis, as it will help to foresee possible failures, extend transmission distance and improve reliability of the THz and other high-frequency broadband wireless networks.
Part of the book: Broadband Communications Networks