On the road to 6G : visions, requirements, key technologies and testbeds

Wang, Cheng-Xiang and You, Xiaohu and Gao, Xiqi and Zhu, Xiuming and Li, Zixin and Zhang, Chuan and Wang, Haiming and Huang, Yongming and Chen, Yunfei and Haas, Harald and Thompson, John S. and Larsson, Erik G. and Renzo, Marco Di and Tong, Wen and Zhu, Peiying and Shen, Xuemin and Poor, H. Vincent and Hanzo, Lajos (2023) On the road to 6G : visions, requirements, key technologies and testbeds. IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials, 25 (2). pp. 905-974. ISSN 1553-877X (https://doi.org/10.1109/comst.2023.3249835)

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Fifth generation (5G) mobile communication systems have entered the stage of commercial deployment, providing users with new services, improved user experiences as well as a host of novel opportunities to various industries. However, 5G still faces many challenges. To address these challenges, international industrial, academic, and standards organizations have commenced research on sixth generation (6G) wireless communication systems. A series of white papers and survey papers have been published, which aim to define 6G in terms of requirements, application scenarios, key technologies, etc. Although ITU-R has been working on the 6G vision and it is expected to reach a consensus on what 6G will be by mid-2023, the related global discussions are still wide open and the existing literature has identified numerous open issues. This paper first provides a comprehensive portrayal of the 6G vision, technical requirements, and application scenarios, covering the current common understanding of 6G. Then, a critical appraisal of the 6G network architecture and key technologies is presented. Furthermore, existing testbeds and advanced 6G verification platforms are detailed for the first time. In addition, future research directions and open challenges are identified to stimulate the on-going global debate. Finally, lessons learned to date concerning 6G networks are discussed.