University of Oulu

Matinmikko-Blue, M., Yrjölä, S., Ahokangas, P. et al. 6G and the UN SDGs: Where is the Connection?. Wireless Pers Commun 121, 1339–1360 (2021).

6G and the UN SDGs : where is the connection?

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Author: Matinmikko-Blue, Marja1; Yrjölä, Seppo1,2; Ahokangas, Petri3;
Organizations: 1Centre for Wireless Communications (CWC), University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Nokia, Oulu, Finland
3Martti Ahtisaari Institute, Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Research and Project Services, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.6 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-12-10


Sustainability has entered all aspects of life, calling for an active approach from the wireless and mobile communications community to help in solving fundamental challenges facing societies. Societal, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability have become increasingly important design criteria in developing future technologies, along with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) framework that sets specific goals and targets to be achieved by 2030. The role of mobile communications is important in supporting nations and organizations in meeting the UN SDGs in a timely manner, but the whole ICT sector itself, with its critical role as the backbone of society, can create a significant sustainability burden. Research on the next-generation mobile communication networks (6G) has started, aiming at first deployments in 2030, in a new era where sustainability defines its development. Therefore, sustainability, especially through the UN SDGs, and the future 6G wireless networks, cannot be treated in isolation, but a clear connection between them is urgently needed. This paper extends from traditional green communications and energy efficiency considerations in wireless communications to establishing a close connection between 6G and the triple bottom line of economic sustainability, societal sustainability, and environmental sustainability. The paper outlines open research challenges for sustainable 6G development and provides a set of research questions encouraging especially the researchers and engineers in the wireless and mobile communications community to address to realize a sustainable future.

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Series: Wireless personal communications
ISSN: 0929-6212
ISSN-E: 1572-834X
ISSN-L: 0929-6212
Volume: 121
Pages: 1339 - 1360
DOI: 10.1007/s11277-021-09058-y
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital. This research is supported by Academy of Finland through 6Genesis Flagship (Grant 318927).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 318927
Detailed Information: 318927 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2021, corrected publication 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit