In a recent collaborative study between Prof. Yaacoub and Prof. Alouini, the internet of things (IoT) connectivity in rural areas was investigated. Both fronthaul and backhaul issues were considered. Techniques based on free space optics with solar powered networked flying platforms were found to be a suitable networking solution for such kind of environments.
More details about this work from this collaborative project can be found in the video and in the following publication:
E. Yaacoub and M. -S. Alouini, "Efficient fronthaul and backhaul connectivity for IoT traffic in rural areas", IEEE Internet of Things Magazine, Vol. 4, Issue: 1, 2021.