While 5G is already at its deployment stage, the race to 6G has just started, with the funding of several research projects all around the world, to build the path towards a first standardisation. This context gives different research communities the opportunity to shape 6G with new technological enablers unseen before, tackling aspects on key performance indicators, as well as the technological solutions able to guarantee them. The former refer not only to classical communications tangible performance, such as data rate or latency, but also on fundamental targets of sustainability, privacy, trustworthiness, etc., which are one of the central aspects of 6G. On the other hand, technological enablers should cover all layers of the protocol stack, with a holistic architecture, design and management that jointly considers all aspects of communication, computing and control. Among several technological breakthroughs, it is worth mentioning reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RISs), which enable new degrees of freedom in optimizing the wireless propagation of signals in these complex systems. In this context, this Special Issue collects some of the latest activities in the field of RISs for 6G.
This Special Issue originates from the international conference 2022 EuCNC & 6G Summit (European Conference on Networks and Communications and 6G Summit), which was held in June 2022 in Grenoble (France). The best papers of the conference were selected by the Technical Programme Chairs and the respective authors were invited to submit extended versions of their work. Therefore, the aim of the special issue is to focus on the advances of 6G related research, namely those concerned with sustainable communications, with the recent funding campaign of the European Commission, but also of other institutions all around the world. The aim is to cover all aspects ranging from the key performance and values indicators to the technological enablers, and in particular reconfigurable intelligent surfaces, with a clear positioning of new wireless technologies with respect to the current state of the art, to show their potential to enable the 6G ecosystem.
EM Strinati, CEA LETI, France
M. Merluzzi, CEA-LETI, France
A Pouttu, University of Oulu, Finland
LM Correia, University of Lisbon, Portugal