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.
Editor in Chief:
*) The chapter editor passed away during the preparation of this white paper.