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Edirisinghe, S.; Galagedarage, O.; Dias, I.; Ranaweera, C. Emerging Applications of 6G. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 15 April 2024).
Edirisinghe S, Galagedarage O, Dias I, Ranaweera C. Emerging Applications of 6G. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed April 15, 2024.
Edirisinghe, Sampath, Orga Galagedarage, Imali Dias, Chathurika Ranaweera. "Emerging Applications of 6G" Encyclopedia, (accessed April 15, 2024).
Edirisinghe, S., Galagedarage, O., Dias, I., & Ranaweera, C. (2023, May 23). Emerging Applications of 6G. In Encyclopedia.
Edirisinghe, Sampath, et al. "Emerging Applications of 6G." Encyclopedia. Web. 23 May, 2023.
Emerging Applications of 6G

Emerging technologies continue to grow across diverse fields and facilitate a variety of services that benefit all kinds of end users. The suitability of indoor wireless networks in delivering 6G applications depends on the QoS requirements of the applications. 


1. Digital Health

In recent years, healthcare applications have transitioned into e-Health platforms due to advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT) and Tactile Internet (TI) [1][2]. In addition to simple services such as teleconsultations, more advanced services such as remote surgery and remote rehabilitation are also made possible thanks to advancements in TI and IoT. These e-Health applications have the ability to reduce the geographical barriers in receiving health care across regional communities. The use of IoT in healthcare has not only progressed real-time patient care, but has also improved offline administrative aspects such as hospital management systems, data gathering and analysing mechanisms, patient and drug monitoring systems, and handling data environments, which are hazardous and unreachable for humans, including high-radiation environments and underwater systems [3].
Although some of the e-Health applications such as teleconsultations may have comparatively fewer QoS requirements, real-time e-Health applications such as telesurgery have stringent latency requirements, such as 1 ms [2]. Applications of this nature also require high bandwidth, as they usually require the transmission of data generated by high-resolution video cameras. Similarly, the use of exoskeletons for rehabilitation requires latency in the same range as for remote surgery.


Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and extended reality (XR) have become prominent technologies, specifically in areas such as education and gaming [4]. These technologies are capable of recreating virtual experiences of real-world scenarios, thereby delivering a fully immersive experience to users. AR and VR technologies can be very useful in education, as they have the capability to provide an interactive learning environment to students, which will enhance their learning outcomes [5]. This technology can be convenient in instances such as medical documents, where two-dimensional explanation is not enough; children’s books, where more interaction and entertainment can be provided; and research articles and proceedings where concepts can be further illustrated. However, applications of this nature demand resources such as high bandwidth and stringent latency. The use of VR/AR/XR technologies, audio/video recordings, and holographic images are currently facing challenges, as existing wireless networks struggle to satisfy their requirements. As such, further investigations into novel technologies are required to support these applications.

3. Industry 4.0 and Industry 5.0

Industry 4.0 has transformed the traditional workflow of factory settings by integrating connectivity, IoT, and intelligence [6]. Within the Industry 4.0 factory setting, activities such as managing environmental conditions of the production line such as temperature and humidity using IoT technologies can tolerate comparatively higher latency and packet loss rate values, such as 50–100 ms and 103−3, respectively [7]. However, activities that deal with real-time machine and robot handling will require more stringent latency, as low as 25 μ, due to precision and health and safety requirements. Moreover, the recent discussion on Industry 5.0 has taken another step towards a fully connected industrial environment, with digital twins, human-centric communication, and artificial intelligence (AI) [8]. The Industry 5.0 environments are expected to collaborate seamlessly with humans, which requires low latency and high data rate connectivity for the monitoring, and edge computing and AI on-site for data processing.

4. Video Streaming (4K, 8K)

The 4K and 8K technologies were introduced as means of obtaining better-quality video output. They are enhanced video streaming standards compared to existing video streaming standards such as 720p and 1080p. For example, 1080p video supports 1920 × 1080 pixels, while 4K supports a 4096 × 2160 pixels resolution and 8K supports a 4-fold higher resolution compared to 4K. Nowadays, services such as Netflix, YouTube, AR/VR, and online gaming use 4K and 8K videos, as they provide better quality of service and experience for the users. With the appropriate encoding mechanisms, 4K and 8K can ensure not only high-definition video streaming but also low-latency live streaming over the Internet [9]. However, between the two technologies, 8K videos are more realistic due to their higher resolution of 7680 × 4320 pixels, and result in lower latency compared to 4K [10], thereby facilitating more natural communication between hosts [11]. However, to achieve a high-definition streaming experience, latency levels lower than 60 ms [9] and bandwidth connections such as 10 Gbps are required [11]. Further, to achieve the scalable video streaming service with techniques such as multicast and storage closer to the user [12], a higher network bandwidth is required in the access networks.

5. Virtual Presence (Telepresence)

Virtual presence or telepresence is another renowned emerging technology utilized in many industries. Telepresence is similar to video conferencing, yet is more advanced considering the quality of the audio and video offered. This technology is not just used for conducting meetings and conferences remotely, but also for applications such as robotics. Researchers combine robotics together with telepresence to manipulate the reactions of robots deployed with human-oriented environments. With the aid of telepresence, the user responses are further analysed, and robots respond much accurately [13]. The same concept is applied in the healthcare industry, where robots are used to perform surgeries [14]. Virtual presence in conjunction with virtual reality is also used in military training, online gaming, and medical simulation operations [15]. In order to facilitate the abovementioned requirements, communication channels need to transmit higher amounts of information within a limited timeframe. Hence, high-speed connections and wider bandwidth channels are essential needs. Furthermore, concepts such as performing surgeries with telepresence demand low latency, low jitter, and noise-free communication.

6. Smart Homes

Another well-known IoT-based system people use on daily-basis is smart home systems. IoT technology facilitates day-to-day household appliances to be connected to the Internet, thereby controlling them remotely and automatically. Examples of smart home systems range from turning on a light to managing the entire security of a premises. A well designed smart home system has the ability to reduce power consumption, and thereby the overall operational cost of the house, by turning off unused lights and appliances, manipulating the temperature levels accordingly, and adjusting the intensity of lights. To facilitate such needs, widely available and device-compatible communication technologies are required. Moreover, IoT can also add enhanced functionalities, such as implementing cameras and sensors to monitor and detect intruders [16]. A smart home can also consist of an indoor greenhouse, where humidity, temperature, watering levels, and fertilizing can be managed and automated with IoT. Furthermore, plant vitals, monitoring, and growth predictions can also be conducted with IoT systems. To enable these smart home applications, low latency and more reliable communication standards that ensure prompt alerting and accurate notifications are required.
A few other indoor applications that benefit from IoT-based smart home systems are remote education, indoor navigation systems, assisted technologies for people with disabilities, and financial systems [17]. However, most existing IoT systems still operate using legacy technologies such as 3G and 4G. Besides being mature and predictable technologies, they do not have the ability to address the resource requirements of emerging IoT technologies. For this purpose, new technologies and standards need to be explored to support emerging smart home applications [18][19].

7. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have gained their prominence in various industries, such as financial, healthcare, security, agriculture, education, and retail, due to their inherent ability to analyse current data, determine patterns, and make future predictions. For example, in the healthcare sector, these attributes can help clinicians to predict hereditary diseases and take precautions to overcome such diseases. To perform such activities, it is vital that the communication standards support high data rates and high-speed data processing. Especially when it comes to AI technology employed in industries such as healthcare and security, low latency and the reliable transmission of data are extremely paramount, as the predictions made by the AI systems depend on the network performances.

8. Smart Cities and Intelligent Transportation Systems

The concept of smart cities exploits the data generated by a multitude of IoT devices to improve the quality of life of people. These collected data are used to automate transportation, healthcare, factories, and many other parts of an urban area [20]. Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) are an impotent part of smart cities, where IoT applications are used to improve the transportation system of a city. Such applications can range from optimally managing traffic congestions within city limits to the safety of vehicles and pedestrians, and managing logistics associated with goods and services transportation [21]. As defined by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the application layer of ITS mainly focuses on three types of services: road safety, traffic efficiency, and other applications [22]. Road safety applications, such as informing a hard brake to fellow motorists or identifying the failure of a critical function such as steering, requires latency in the range of 50–100 ms, while traffic efficiency applications such as emergency vehicle warnings should adhere to delay constraints of 100–500 ms. In addition to latency requirements, with recent trends towards using big data and different data analytic techniques and algorithms, the capacity of supporting networks should also improve in parallel [23][24].
The QoS requirements of emerging applications discussed in this section are summarised and listed in Table 1.
Table 1. Quality of Service requirements of upcoming applications.
Application Data Rate Latency Reliability Remarks
Healthcare (Remote Surgery) ∼2 Gbps <1 ms Very High High data rate
Strict latency and reliability
4k Streaming
8k Streaming
25 Mbps
100 Mbps
6–11 ms
10–20 ms
Medium High data rate
Delay tolerable to a certain limit
AR 2–20 Mbps (UL)
20–60 Mbps (DL)
5–50 ms High Medium data rate
Strict latency and reliability
VR <2 Mbps (UL)
30–100 Mbps (DL)
5–20 ms High High data rate
Strict latency and reliability
XR 300 kbps (UL)
8–30 Mbps (DL)
10–30 ms High Medium data rate
Strict latency and reliability
Industry 4.0/5.0 Tens of Mbps 25 μs Very High Medium data rate
Strict latency and reliability
Smart Homes <10 Mbps <100 ms Medium Massive number
of devices


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