In many places all over the world, rural and remote areas lack proper connectivity. This has led to an increasing digital divide. These areas may have low population density, low incomes, difficult terrain, and non-existent infrastructure, lacking a power grid, for example. This makes them less attractive places in which to invest and operate connectivity networks.
6G could be the first mobile radio generation that truly aims to close the digital divide. However, to do so, special requirements and challenges must be considered from the beginning of the design process. The aim of this white paper is to discuss requirements and challenges and indicate the related identified research topics that must be solved in 6G.
This white paper first provides a generic discussion, illustrates some facts, and discusses targets set in international bodies for rural and remote connectivity and the digital divide. The paper then delves into technical details, i.e. into the solutions space. First, a background overview is provided, followed by a closer elaboration of individual elements, i.e. terrestrial back-haul networks, terrestrial back-haul solutions, non-terrestrial solutions, the need for local operations, and frequency spectrum issues. Each technical section ends with a discussion and then lists the highlights of the identified 6G challenges and research ideas.
Saarnisaari Harri, Dixit Sudhir, Alouini Mohamed-Slim, Chaoub Abdelaali, Giordani Marco, Kliks Adrian, Matinmikko-Blue Marja & Zhang Nan
6G research visions
Place of publication:
Oulu : University of Oulu
June 30, 2020
Saarnisaari, H., Dixit, S., Alouini, M.-S., Chaoub, A., Giordani, M., Kliks, A., Matinmikko-Blue, M., & Zhang, N. (Eds.). (2020). 6G White Paper on Connectivity for Remote Areas [White paper]. (6G Research Visions, No. 5). University of Oulu. http://urn.fi/urn:isbn:9789526226750
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