University of Oulu

Saarnisaari H, Chaoub A, Heikkilä M, Singhal A and Bhatia V (2021) Wireless Terrestrial Backhaul for 6G Remote Access: Challenges and Low Power Solutions. Front. Comms. Net 2:710781. doi: 10.3389/frcmn.2021.710781

Wireless terrestrial backhaul for 6G remote access : challenges and low power solutions

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Author: Saarnisaari, Harri1; Chaoub, Abdelaali2; Heikkilä, Marjo3;
Organizations: 1Centre for Wireless Communications, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2STRS Laboratory, INPT, Rabat, Morocco
3Centria University of Applied Sciences, Ylivieska, Finland
4Department of Electronics and Communications Engineering, Bennett University, Greater Noida, India
5Centre for Advanced Electronics, IIT Indore, Indore, India
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Frontiers Media, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-12-10


Despite developments in communication systems over the last few decades, a digital divide exists in the unconnected part of the world. The latter is characterized by large distances to internet access points, underdeveloped infrastructure, sparse populations, and low incomes. This concern of digital divide is raised in the sixth generation’s (6G) initial vision as an extremely important topic. However, it is important to understand affiliated challenges and potential solutions to achieve this vision. Motivated by the recent backhaul link forecasts that expect a dominance of the microwave technology within the backhauling market, this paper studies the potential of a low-power terrestrial microwave backhaul from the sufficient-data-rate and solar powering perspective. Competing technologies (e.g., fiber) may not be energy efficient and commercially viable for global connectivity. Since rural and remote areas may not have grid power, we look at the viability of alternative sustainable sources, in particular solar power, to power the wireless backhaul in 6G. In addition, we also explore services for the operators and users to use the system efficiently. Since the access points are connected to backhaul, we also compare the two prominent solutions based on low-power small-radius cells and a mega-cell that covers a large area and show insights on the power autonomy of the systems. In the end, we propose directions for research and deployment for an inclusive connectivity as a part of future 6G networks.

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Series: Frontiers in communications and networks
ISSN: 2673-530X
ISSN-E: 2673-530X
ISSN-L: 2673-530X
Volume: 2
Article number: 710781
DOI: 10.3389/frcmn.2021.710781
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
Funding: This research has been supported by the Academy of Finland 6Genesis Flagship (grant 318927) and the EU’s regional funding Interreg Nord via the Arctic 5G Test Networks project that is co-funded by Lapin Liitto, FI, and Region Norrbotten, SE.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 318927
Detailed Information: 318927 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2021 Saarnisaari, Chaoub, Heikkilä, Singhal and Bhatia. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.