A Key 6G Challenge and Opportunity - Connecting the Remaining 4 Billions: A Survey on Rural Connectivity

2019-11-06T09:45:24Z (GMT) by Elias Yaacoub Mohamed-Slim Alouini
Providing connectivity to around half of the World population living in rural or underprivileged areas is a tremendous challenge, but also a unique opportunity. In this paper, a survey of technologies for providing connectivity to rural areas, and that can help address this challenge, is provided. Fronthaul and backhaul techniques are discussed. In addition, energy and cost efficiency of the studied technologies are analyzed. Typical application scenarios in rural areas are discussed, and several country-specific use cases are surveyed. Directions for future evolution of rural connectivity are outlined.