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Communications of the ACM

Europe Region special section: Hot topics

On 6G and Trustworthiness

man in superhero suit on 6G background

Credit: Getty Images

The first two generations of cellular—1G/2G—enabled ubiquitous voice connectivity. 3G/4G enabled broadband Internet. Even generations introduced services for business customers, and odd generations democratized them for consumers. 5G is enabling network-controlled robotics and XR, the Tactile Internet for business verticals,4 and 6G will democratize this for consumers. One main avenue for achieving this is cost reduction.6 Another avenue is radio access with joint communications and sensing.7 New services are envisioned, such as low-altitude air traffic control, detecting, for example, bird migration and adapting drone services accordingly.

Every opportunity of improving sensing is an opportunity for spying. Trustworthiness for 6G is key.

Not only data but physical and virtual objects will be controlled with 6G. This requires addressing trustworthiness of the system and its services at an unprecedented level. Indeed, trustworthiness must be understood in a new context, as we envision:

  • Localization of unheard precision,
  • Sensing—not only radio and camera sensing, and
  • Gesture recognition—also emotions.


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