Beyond 5G Communications

Submission Deadline: 30 September 2020

IEEE Access invites manuscript submissions in the area of Beyond 5G Communications.

As the commercial deployment of the fifth generation of cellular networks (5G) is well underway in many countries of the world, academia as well as industrial research organizations turn their attention to what comes next. As it typically takes ten years to develop a new cellular communication standard, it is now the perfect time to identify promising topics and research directions for the next decade, which will lay the foundations for a possible 6G system. Moving from 4G to 5G, no disruptive changes to the physical layer were made. The main novelty was to simultaneously support a set of diverse applications with different throughput, latency, and reliability requirements, thanks to a flexible OFDM numerology and the concept of network slicing. Also, the spectral efficiency could be dramatically increased by supporting larger bandwidths and antenna arrays at the base station, i.e., massive MIMO. Although machine learning is currently one of the hottest topics in the field of communications, it did not play any role in the design of 5G and will mainly be used to implement, optimize, and operate such systems efficiently. 6G will likely be driven by a mix of past trends (e.g., more cells, larger and distributed antenna arrays, higher spectrum) as well as new technologies, services, applications, and devices.

The aim of this Special Section is to gather forward-looking contributions on radio access technologies beyond 5G. Topics of interest comprise new frequency bands, new multiple-antenna technologies (passive and/or active), new network deployments, new waveforms, and new applications of RF signals beyond mere communications, as well as the fusion of wireless and sensor information. A tool of central importance is machine learning, to either learn entirely new communication protocols or simply enhance traditional algorithms. Since the development of a new standard is largely driven by use cases, e.g., mobile broadband, mission critical applications, massive machine-type traffic, we explicitly solicit opinion and vision articles concerning the potential requirements and key enablers of 6G.

The topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • New wireless communication systems, network deployments, and spectrum sharing
  • Machine learning-based wireless systems and services
  • Terahertz communications and networks
  • Radar enhanced wireless systems
  • New multiple antenna technologies and deployments
  • Massive connectivity in communication systems
  • Edge intelligence for beyond 5G networks
  • Wireless big data enabled technologies
  • Photonics and wireless integration
  • Autonomous networks

We also highly recommend the submission of multimedia with each article as it significantly increases the visibility and downloads of articles.


Associate Editor:  Jakob Hoydis, Nokia Bell Labs, France

Guest Editors:

    1. Ulf Gustavsson, Ericsson AB, Sweden
    2. Urbashi Mitra, University of Southern California, USA
    3. Luca Sanguinetti, University of Pisa, Italy
    4. Christoph Studer, Cornell University, USA
    5. Meixia Tao, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China


Relevant IEEE Access Special Sections:

  1. Antenna and Propagation for 5G and Beyond
  2. 5G and Beyond Mobile Wireless Communications Enabling Intelligent Mobility 
  3. Millimeter-wave and Terahertz Propagation, Channel Modeling and Applications


IEEE Access Editor-in-Chief:  Prof. Derek Abbott, University of Adelaide

Article submission: Contact Associate Editor and submit manuscript to:

For inquiries regarding this Special Section, please contact: