The Road beyond 5G
As 5G enters a stable phase in terms of system architecture, 3GPP Release 17 starts to investigate advanced features that would shape the evolution toward 6G. This paper provides an insightful analysis for mobile networks Beyond 5G (B5G) considering the advancements and implications introduced by the evolution of softwarization, agile control and deterministic services. It elaborates the 5G landscape, also investigating new business prospects and the emerging use cases, which will open new horizons for accelerating the market penetration of vertical services. It then overviews the key technologies that constitute the pillars for the evolution beyond 5G considering new radio paradigms, micro-service oriented core network, native IP based user plane, network analytics and the support of the low latency- high reliability transport layer. The open challenges considering both technical and business aspects are then overviewed, elaborating the footprint of softwarization, security and trust as well as distributed architectures and services toward 6G.