6G Research Visions, No. 13

White Paper on RF enabling 6G – opportunities and challenges from technology to spectrum

led by Aarno Pärssinen

Executive Summary

Many visions of 6G and the evolution of data rates in wireless systems in general are directing their vectors toward Tbps communications by 2030. This target, with the important goal of sustainable development in the future world, will inevitably lead to many questions within the RF community about whether this will be feasible at all, and how. As the same question is also raised by other experts from various fields, this paper will examine the challenges and opportunities before us from many perspectives. It is evident that 6G will not only be extremely high-speed communications. For example, the existing wireless infrastructure and new solutions in ultra-low power communications will also live and evolve, further enriching the fabric of wireless systems serving an even wider spread of applications. 

6G is also expected to merge communications and sensing in a new way, and the wide bandwidth needed for data will also benefit many high-precision sensing applications. Multi-use, scalability, and energy efficiency will be of the utmost importance, and the tradeoffs will be neither straightforward nor easy to implement, or even understand, without a deep dive into key technologies. These are evolving mostly from the well-established solutions in the market, but at the same time, the need for something completely new is evident. The gap between radio and optical communications is also narrowing, potentially answering some of the concerns.

This white paper will not only discuss the opportunities but also the serious challenges that are foreseeable in the technology community. These may slow down, or in the worst case even block, some of the development paths. How we cope with such threats and use the existing opportunities in the engineering process from early research to final products in the current landscape is one of the key questions that will be asked by the RF community. At the end of this paper, a list of refined questions will be shared. These are not for the RF community alone, but for experts working in various disciplines and stakeholders that are together building the future of 6G enabled by radio technologies.

List of Contributors

Editor in Chief:

  • Aarno Pärssinen, University of Oulu, Finland

Chapter Editors:

  • Mohamed-Slim Alouini, KAUST, Saudi Arabia
  • Markus Berg, University of Oulu, Finland
  • Thomas Kürner, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany 
  • Pekka Kyösti, University of Oulu, Finland
  • Marko E. Leinonen, University of Oulu, Finland
  • Marja Matinmikko-Blue, University of Oulu, Finland
  • Earl McCune, former Eridian, USA (*
  • Ullrich Pfeiffer, University of Wuppertal, Germany
  • Piet Wambacq, imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

Contributors:

  • Shuhei Amakawa, University of Hiroshima, Japan
  • Zahid Aslam, SIRADEL, ENGIE Group, France
    (now with SKYFive)
  • Jim Buckwalter, University of California Santa Barbara, USA
  • Stefano Caputo, University of Florence, Italy
  • Abdelaali Chaoub, Institut National des Postes et Télécommunications (INPT), Morocco
  • Yunfei Chen, University of Warwick, UK
  • Yoann Corre, SIRADEL, ENGIE Group, France
  • Minoru Fujishima, University of Hiroshima, Japan
  • Yang Ganghua, Huawei, France
  • Steven Gao, University of Kent, UK
  • Janusz Grzyb, University of Wuppertal, Germany
  • Chong Han, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
  • Greg Jue, Keysight, USA
  • Joonas Kokkoniemi, University of Oulu, Finland
  • Zhengrong Lai, GDCNI Guangdong Communications and Networks Institute, China 
  • Yinggang Li, Ericsson, Sweden
  • Mike Millhaem, Keysight, USA
  • Ingrid Moerman, imec & Ghent University, Belgium
  • Lorenzo Mucchi, University of Florence, Italy
  • Sami Myllymäki, University of Oulu, Finland
  • Roger Nichols, Keysight, USA
  • Ilja Ocket, IMEC, Belgium
  • Malcolm Robertson, Keysight, USA 
  • Mark Rodwell, University of California Santa Barbara, USA

*) The chapter editor passed away during the preparation of this white paper.

This white paper has been written by an international expert group, led by the Finnish 6G Flagship program at the University of Oulu, within a series of twelve 6G white papers to be published in their final format in 2020.

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