Sustainability and Spectrum Management in the 6G Era

The goal of sustainability and the required sustainable development to reach this goal call for a significant renewal of operations to solve fundamental challenges facing societies. The role of ICT and wireless communications is critical in realizing the twin transition of green and digital. The wireless and mobile communications community has taken sustainability as the key goal driving the whole R&D of the next generation of mobile communication networks (6G) aiming at deployment in 2030s. Understanding the triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental sustainability together with the concrete United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) with specific targets and indicators are fundamental for 6G R&D but their linkages are not yet clear. This paper investigates sustainability and sustainable development in the context of 6G. A special focus is on the management of the fundamental natural resource for wireless communications, namely the radio spectrum whose management keeps getting ever more complex. The paper highlights the role of new sharing-based spectrum governance models, to rapidly respond to the needs of the changing world towards a sustainable future.