6G for Bridging the Digital Divide

In telecommunications, network service accessibility as a requirement is closely related to equitably serving the population residing at locations that can most appropriately be described as remote. Remote connectivity, however, would have benefited from a more inclusive consideration in the existing generations of mobile communications. To remedy this, sustainability and its social impact are being positioned as key drivers of the sixth generation’s (6G) research and standardization activities. In particular, there has been a conscious attempt to understand the demands of remote wireless connectivity, which has led to a better understanding of the challenges that lie ahead. In this perspective, this article overviews the key challenges associated with constraints on network design and deployment to be addressed for providing broadband connectivity to rural areas, and proposes novel approaches and solutions for bridging the digital divide in those regions.