University of Oulu

Yrjölä, S.; Ahokangas, P.; Matinmikko-Blue, M. Sustainability as a Challenge and Driver for Novel Ecosystemic 6G Business Scenarios. Sustainability 2020, 12, 8951

Sustainability as a challenge and driver for novel ecosystemic 6G business scenarios

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Author: Yrjölä, Seppo1,2; Ahokangas, Petri3; Matinmikko-Blue, Marja1
Organizations: 1Centre for Wireless Communications, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
2Nokia Enterprise, 90620 Oulu, Finland
3Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-12-11


Climate change, the deterioration of the environment and exceeding Earth’s carrying capacity are major threats in operating environment which require new actions in industrialized and digitalized society. In parallel with the global deployment of 5th generation (5G) mobile communication networks, the telecommunication community has already started to envision 6G networks that target the year 2030. This paper discusses the unprecedented opportunities in the future 6G ecosystem specifically from the business perspective and applies a futures-oriented scenario planning method utilized in two strategy workshops in 2020. The paper portrays four scenario themes and a total of 16 alternative future scenarios for the business of 6G. Through the identification of key trends, their interactions, and related uncertainties, the scenario development process generates alternative futures where 6G business strategies are then developed and assessed through the business model perspective. Scenarios were created under four themes: user experience, business, sustainability, and geopolitics and they are discussed in terms of economical, societal, and environmental perspectives. The findings of the paper highlight the achievement of a preferred sustainable future that calls for attention to the privacy and security aspects considering business and regulatory needs: public/governmental, corporate, community, and human perspectives and aims of governance; ecosystem configuration related to users, decentralized business models, and platforms; user empowerment; and the role of service location-specificity. The findings indicate that it is vital to bring together relevant stakeholders to solve sustainability problems within the ecosystem and pay special attention to open ecosystem-focused value configuration and decentralized poly-nodal power configuration, while responding to the diversified demands of various users across the different verticals.

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Series: Sustainability
ISSN: 2071-1050
ISSN-E: 2071-1050
ISSN-L: 2071-1050
Volume: 12
Issue: 21
Pages: 1 - 30
Article number: 8951
DOI: 10.3390/su12218951
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
512 Business and management
Funding: This research was funded by Academy of Finland in 6G Flagship program and Business Finland in 5G-Viima project. The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions of the members of 6G Flagship’s white paper expert group on Business of 6G: Jurva, R.; Kant V.; Karppinen, P.; Kinnula, M.; Koumaras, H.; Rantakokko, M.; Ziegler, V.; Thakur, A.; Zepernick, H-J. ITEE strategy workshop group: Collén, C.; Haverinen, J.; Kangasharju, A.; Laakso, M.; Mustonen, J.; Partanen, J.; Riekki, J.; Stening, I.; Seppänen, V.; Stucki, M.
Copyright information: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (