The role of Internet and Communication Technology (ICT) in bringing about a revolution in almost all aspects of human life needs no introduction. It is indeed a well-known fact that the transmission of the information at a rapid pace has transformed all spheres of human life such as economy, education, and health to name a few. In this context, and as the standardization of the fifth generation (5G) of wireless communication systems (WCSs) has been completed, and 5G networks are in their early stage of deployment, the research visioning and planning of the sixth generation (6G) of WCSs are being initiated. 6G is expected to be the next focus in wireless communication and networking and aim to provide new superior communication services to meet the future hyper-connectivity demands in the 2030s. In addition, keeping in mind that urbanized populations have been the major beneficiary of the advances offered by the previous generations of WCSs and motivated by the recently adopted united nations sustainability development goals intended to be achieved by the year 2030, 6G networks are anticipated to democratize the benefits of ICT. Indeed these advantages are still not experienced by almost 4 billion people in the world who are still “unconnected or under-connected” and who suffer as such from the “digital divide”, a term coined in order to emphasize the lack of ICT infrastructure in many parts of the world. Given this background, this talk aims to (i) provide an envisioned picture of 6G, (ii) serve as a research guideline in the beyond 5G era, and (iii) go over the recently proposed solutions to provide high-speed connectivity in under-covered areas to serve and contribute to the development of far-flung regions.
Mohamed-Slim Alouini was born in Tunis, Tunisia. He received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, CA, USA, in 1998. He served as a faculty member in the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA, then in the Texas A&M University at Qatar, Education City, Doha, Qatar before joining King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Makkah Province, Saudi Arabia as a Professor of Electrical Engineering in 2009.