MAC Protocols for Terahertz Communication: A Comprehensive Survey

Saim Ghafoor, Noureddine Boujnah, Mubashir Husain Rehmani, Alan Davy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Terahertz communication is emerging as a future technology to support Terabits per second link with highlighting features as high throughput and negligible latency. However, the unique features of the Terahertz band such as high path loss, scattering, and reflection pose new challenges and results in short communication distance. The antenna directionality, in turn, is required to enhance the communication distance and to overcome the high path loss. However, these features in combine negate the use of traditional medium access protocols (MAC). Therefore, novel MAC protocol designs are required to fully exploit their potential benefits including efficient channel access, control message exchange, link establishment, mobility management, and line-of-sight blockage mitigation. An in-depth survey of Terahertz MAC protocols is presented in this paper. The paper highlights the key features of the Terahertz band which should be considered while designing an efficient Terahertz MAC protocol, and the decisions which if taken at Terahertz MAC layer can enhance the network performance. Different Terahertz applications at macro and nano scales are highlighted with design requirements for their MAC protocols. The MAC protocol design issues and considerations are highlighted. Further, the existing MAC protocols are also classified based on network topology, channel access mechanisms, and link establishment strategies as Transmitter and Receiver initiated communication. Open challenges and future research directions on Terahertz MAC protocols are also highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9170557
Pages (from-to)2236-2282
Number of pages47
JournalIEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2020


  • Terahertz band
  • terahertz MAC layer
  • terahertz antenna
  • terahertz channel model
  • terahertz communication network
  • terahertz physical layer
  • terahertz propagation model
  • terahertz technology
  • terahertz transceivers


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