The Journey Towards 6G: A Digital and Societal Revolution in the Making

by   Lina Mohjazi, et al.

While the fifth generation (5G) is bringing an innovative fabric of breakthrough technologies, enabling smart factories, cities, and Internet-of-Things (IoT), the unprecedented strain on communication networks put by these applications, in terms of highly cognitive, agile architectures and the support of massive connectivity, energy efficiency, and extreme ultralow latency, is pushing 5G to their limits. As such, the focus of academic and industrial efforts has shifted toward beyond 5G (B5G) and the conceptualization of sixth generation (6G) systems. This article discusses four main digital and societal use cases (UCs) that will drive the need to reconcile a new breed of network requirements. Based on this, we provide our vision of the fundamental architectural ingredients that will enable the promise of 6G networks of bringing the unification of experiences across the digital, physical, and human worlds. We outline key disruptive technological paradigms that will support 6G materialize a bouquet of unique expectations and redefine how we live and protect our planet. Finally, we adopt the recently envisaged ecosystem of the Internet-of-Musical Things (IoMusT) to depict how the discussed UCs and technological paradigms may be exploited to realize this ecosystem.


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