6G Wireless Access – Use Cases

6G, Tech Fundas

6G Wireless Access will be emergence and need for the unprecedented performance requirements arising from exciting new applications foreseen in the era of 2030, which current cellular generations will not be able to support. In this post we will try to list  the applications that require wireless broadband connectivity with high data rates along with other specialised characteristics.

The following is a list of the potential new use cases and applications in 6G which will help to understand the key requirements of future 6G systems

Extreme Capacity Backhaul (xHaul): This use case refers to a fixed  symmetric point-to-point link targeting high data rates without energy or complexity constraints since no user devices are involved. This can only be achieved using a combination of high bandwidth and high spectral efficiency. The envisioned ultra-dense network topology in urban areas with extreme capacity and latency requirements makes fiber based back-hauling highly desirable but complicated due to the limited fiber network penetration (variable from country to country) and related extension cost.

Hence, wireless infrastructure is needed as a flexible complement to optical fiber deployment in both indoor and outdoor, to avoid any bottleneck in the back-haul or xHaul. Ultra-high speed is required since back-haul aggregates the data rates of many user devices. The xHaul can also provide efficient access to computing resources at the edge or in the cloud.

  • Applications Characteristics
    • Enhanced broadband Fixed Access
    • Data aggregation of large number of users
    • 1 Tb/s transport
    • 200+ meters range
    • Indoor and outdoor environment
    • No energy or complexity constraint

Enhanced hotspot (e-Hotspot) : An enhanced hotspot (e-hotspot) involves scenario providing high downlink data rates from the Access Point (AP) to several user devices within a short coverage area and low receiver complexity constraints. The hotspots delivering high-speed data to support applications such as HD video streaming and enhanced Wireless LAN (WLAN).

  • Applications Characteristics
    • High-speed download
    • High-definition video streaming
    • Enhanced Wireless LAN (WLAN)
    • 100+ Gbps per cell
    • Indoor 10+ meters range
    • Low receiver complexity constraints

Short-Range D2D Communications: The D2D use case focuses on data exchange between user devices that are within a short distance, with limited involvement of the network infrastructure. This considers a symmetric (same DL/UL data rates requirements) high data rate, point-to-point link with very stringent energy and complexity constraints.

  • Applications Characteristics
    • Connector less applications
    • Inter & Intra chip communication
    • Indoor 2+ meters range
    • High energy and complexity constraints

Smart Railways : This is a required component in a paradigm where infrastructure, trains, passengers, and goods are seamlessly connected with high data rates. Railway communications are evolving from only supporting critical signalling applications to providing several bandwidth-intensive applications, such as on-board and wayside HD video surveillance, broadband connectivity for passengers, broadcasting of passenger information, and remote driving or control. These applications need to be deployed in at least fi ve scenarios:

    • train-to-infrastructure,
    • inter-wagon (the train backbone),
    • intra-wagon,
    • inside the station, and
    • Infrastructure-to-Infrastructure.
  • Applications Characteristics
    • Fully interconnected infrastructure, trains, passengers and goods
    • HD video surveillance
    • High-data rate connectivity for passengers
    • Passenger information
    • Remote driving

Remote Areas Connectivity : Half of the world’s population still lacks basic access to internet broadband. The current technologies and business models have failed to reach large parts of the world. To reduce this digital divide, a key target of 6G is to guarantee 10 Mbps in every populated area of the world, using ground based and space borne network components. 6G must be designed in a sufficiently cost efficient manner to enable actual deployments that deliver broadband to the entire population of the world.

  • Applications Characteristics
    • Connectivity anywhere, anytime across the globe
    • Reduced global digital divide
    • 10 Mb/s data rate in every populated area of the world
    • Cost-efficient design to enable actual deployment targets

Extended Reality (AR/MR/VR): Under this use case Augmented, mixed, and virtual reality (AR/MR/VR) applications, capturing multi-sensory inputs and providing real-time user interaction are considered. To delivery a fully immersive experience it requires per user very high data rates in Gbps range and very low latencies . Remote connectivity and interaction powered by holographic communications, along with all human sensory input information, will further push the data rate and latency targets. Multiple-view cameras used for holographic communications will require data rates on the order of terabits per second.

  • Applications Characteristics
    • Fully immersive AR/MR/VR
    • Holographic communications with multi-sensory input capturing
    • > 1 Tb/s data rates

Robotics and Industrial Automation: Industry 4.0 envisions a digital transformation of manufacturing industries and processes through cyber-physical systems, IoT networks, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. In order to achieve high precision manufacturing, automatic control systems, and communication technologies are utilised in the industrial processes.

Ultra-high reliability on the order of 1-10-9 and extremely low latency around 0.1-1 ms round-trip time are expected in communications, along with real-time data transfer with guaranteed microsecond delay jitter in industrial control networks. While 5G initiated the implementation of Industry 4.0, 6G is expected to uncover its full potential supporting those stringent requirements by the novel, disruptive technologies brought by 6G.

  • Applications Characteristics
    • Enhanced Industry 4.0
    • High precision manufacturing
    • Ultra-high reliability and extremely low latencies
    • Real-time operations with microsecond Jitter

Autonomous Vehicle Mobility : The smart transportation technologies initiated in 5G are envisioned to be further improved towards fully autonomous systems, providing safer and efficient transportation, efficient traffic management, and improved user experience.

Connected autonomous vehicles demand reliability above 99.99999% and latency below 1 ms, even in very high mobility scenarios up to 1000 km/h. Moreover, higher data rates are required due to the increased number of sensors in vehicles that are needed to assist autonomous driving. Other autonomous mobility solutions like delivery systems using drone and drone swarms are also evolving in different application areas such as construction, emergency response, military, etc. and require improved capacity and coverage.

  • Applications Characteristics
    • Smart transportation with fully autonomous vehicles
    • Drone-delivery systems
    • Drone swarms
    • Ultra-high reliability and extremely low latencies
    • High capacity and extended coverage


  • White Paper on Broadband Connectivity in 6G