IEEE International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications
13–16 September 2021 // Virtual Conference // By 6G Flagship

Panel 4: Towards Global 6G Connectivity: Connecting Remote Areas and Low-Income Neighbourhoods

Wednesday 15 September, 18:00-20:00 (UTC/GMT +3)

With the arrival of 5G, research on beyond 5G (B5G)/6Gcommunication networks is gearing up all over the world. One of themost important projected goals of 6G connectivity is to meet theUN-SDG Vision 2030 requirements for a better tomorrow. Hence,connecting the over 3 billion people around the globe with themainstream information highways is a challenging goal. Most of theun-and under-connected population live in low income and ruralregions. To achieve this objective of connecting the unconnectedbillions, leading to improvement in their lives, we need to exploretechnologically driven solutions. Unlike in the previous generation oftelecommunication standards, for 6G, it is envisaged that theserequirements would be considered since inception of the standard.There are already whitepaper, magazine and research articlesappearing on similar from academia, industry and technical bodiesincluding IEEE. With this workshop we intend to bring all on the sameplatform and brainstorm on the challenges and solutions forconnecting the over 3 billion and achieving a better quality of lifealong with meeting the UN’s Vision 2030 SDG objectives.


  1. What are the main showstopper for mobile network operators (MNOs) to deploy mobile networks in rural areas?
  2. What are some of the new business models that can be adopted to facilitate the deployment of wireless networks in rural areas in a scalable and sustainable fashion?
  3. What are in your views the best spectrum allocation policies/regulations that can favor closing the connectivity divide?
  4. How can we overcome issues related to the lack of a stable energy supply often encountered in rural environments?
  5. What are in your views the most promising emerging innovative solutions for low-cost backhaul and access technologies to connect the unconnected in rural areas and low income neighborhoods?


Mohamed-Slim Alouini, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), KSA, email:

List of Participants

Prof Abhay Karandika, IIT, Kanpur, India, email:

Dr Albert Lysko, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa, email:

Prof Marco Di Renzo, Paris-Saclay University, France, email:

Prof Haris Gacanin, RWTH Aachen University, Germany, email:

Dr Sudhir Dixit, Basic Internet Foundation, Norway, email:


Mohamed-Slim Alouini (Fellow, IEEE) was born in Tunis, Tunisia. He received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, CA, USA, in 1998. He has served as a Faculty Member for the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA, then in the Texas A&M University at Qatar, Education City, Doha, Qatar, before joining the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, as a Professor of electrical engineering in 2009. His current researchinterests include modeling, design, and performance analysis of wireless communication systems.

Prof Abhay Karandikar is currently the Director, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, one of the premier technical institutes of India. Before joining IIT Kanpur as the Director in April 2018, he served as Institute Chair Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay. He also served as Dean (Faculty Affairs) and Head of the Electrical Engineering Department at IIT Bombay. He spearheaded a national effort in setting up Telecom Standards Development Society of India (TSDSI), India’s standards body for telecom with participation of all stakeholders. Prof Karandikar was the founding member and former Chairman of TSDSI. He was also Member (Part-Time) of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) from January 2018-January 2021. He serves on the board of several companies and has founded and mentored start-ups in telecom and networking. He was member of High Level Forum on 5G setup by the Government of India and Chaired the 5G Spectrum Policy Task Force. Prof Karandikar has several patents issued and pending, contributions to IEEE, 3GPP standards, contributed chapters in books and large number of papers in international journals and conferences to his credit. Prof Karandikar was awarded with IEEE SA’s Standards Medallion in December 2016 in New Jersey.

Albert Lysko received MSc in Radiophysics from St-Petersburg State Technical University, Russia, in 1998; and a PhD in Information and Communication Technologies from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in 2010. Prof Lysko has worked in both academia and industry in both Europe and Africa. Presently, he is a Principal Researcher with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa. He is also an Adjunct Professor with the University of Cape Town and an Extraordinary Researcher with the North-West University, South Africa. His recent research focus has been on dynamic spectrum access and is now shifting into 5G/6G. While at CSIR, Prof Lysko’s leading experimental research in television white spaces (TVWS) provided Internet to over 20,000 users in three countries and enabled setting up the South African national TVWS regulation and contributed to TVWS regulations in other African countries and the USA. He has authored three patents, a book, two book chapters, and over 100 research papers, popular science and news articles. He received several professional awards, includingof national level. As a volunteer for the IEEE, Prof Lysko has organised and co-organised over 100 events and three international conferences. Under his leadership, IEEE South Africa received its first global IEEE MGA award. Personally, he has MGA and Region 8 awards. Prof Lysko is also a Fellow of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers.

Marco Di Renzo (Fellow, IEEE) was born in L’Aquila, Italy, in 1978. He received the Laurea (cum laude) and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of L’Aquila, Italy, in 2003 and 2007, respectively, and the Habilitation a Diriger des Recherches (Doctor of Science) degree from University Paris-Sud, France, in 2013. Since 2010, he has been with the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), where he is a CNRS Research Director (CNRS Professor) with the Laboratory of Signals andSystems (L2S) of Paris-Saclay University–CNRS and CentraleSupelec, Paris, France. Also, he is a Nokia Foundation Visiting Professor with Aalto University, Finland, and was a Honorary Professor with University Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia, and a Visiting Professor with the University of L’Aquila, Italy Dr. Renzo was a recipient of several awards, including the 2013 IEEECOMSOC Best Young Researcher Award for Europe, Middle East and Africa, the 2013 NoE-NEWCOM# Best Paper Award, the 2014-2015 Royal Academy of Engineering Distinguished Visiting Fellowship, the 2015 IEEE Jack Neubauer Memorial Best System Paper Award, the 2015 CNRS Award for Excellence in Research and Ph.D. Supervision, the 2016 MSCA Global Fellowship (declined), the 2017 SEE-IEEE AlainGlavieux Award, the 2018 IEEE-COMSOC Young Professional in Academia Award, the 2019 Nokia Foundation Visiting Professorship, and eight Best Paper Awards at IEEE conferences (2012 and 2014 IEEE CAMAD, 2013 IEEE VTC-Fall, 2014 IEEE ATC, 2015 IEEE ComManTel,2017 IEEE SigTelCom, EAI 2018 INISCOM, IEEE ICC 2019). He is a Highly Cited Researcher (Clarivate Analytics, Web of Science). He serves as the Editor-inChief of the IEEE COMMUNICATIONS LETTERS. He served as an Editor of the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON COMMUNICATIONS, the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS, the IEEE COMMUNICATIONS LETTERS, and as the Associate Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE COMMUNICATIONS LETTERS. He is a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society and IEEE Communications Society.

Haris Gačanin received his Dipl.-Ing. degree in Electrical engineering from the University of Sarajevo in 2000. In 2005 and 2008, respectively, he received MSc and PhD from Tohoku University in Japan. He was with Tohoku University from 2008 until 2010 first as Japan Society for Promotion of Science postdoctoral fellow and later, as Assistant Professor. In 2010, he joined Alcatel-Lucent (now Nokia), where he was a Department Head at Nokia Bell Labs until 2020. From 2017 until 2020 he was adjunctprofessor at University of Leuven (KU Leuven). Currently, he is a chair professor at RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany. His professional interests are related to broad areas of digital signal processing and artificial intelligence with applications in communication systems. He has numerous scientific publications (journals, conferences and patent applications) and invited/tutorial talks. He is a Distinguished Lecturer of IEEE Vehicular Technology Society and an Associate Editor of IEEE CommunicationsMagazine, while he served as the editor of IEICE Transactions on Communications and IET Communications. He is senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineering (IEICE) and acted as a general chair and technical program committee member of various IEEE conferences. He is a recipient of several Nokia innovation awards, IEICE Communication System Study Group Best Paper Award (joint 2014, 2015, 2017), The 2013 Alcatel-Lucent Award of Excellence, the 2012 KDDI Foundation Research Award, the 2009 KDDI Foundation Research Grant Award, the 2008 Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) Postdoctoral Fellowships for Foreign Researchers, the 2005 Active ResearchAward in Radio Communications, 2005 Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC 2005-Fall) Student Paper Award from IEEE VTS Japan Chapter and the 2004 Institute of IEICE Society Young Researcher Award. He was awarded by Japanese Government (MEXT) Research Scholarship in 2002.

Sudhir Dixit is currently a Senior Fellow and Evangelist of Basic Internet at the Basic Internet Foundation in Norway and heads its San Francisco office. He has over 30 years of experience in computer networking and telecommunications, and related fields. From 2015 to 2017 he was the CEO and Co-Founder of a start-up, Skydoot, Inc, in the cloud-based and collaboration space. From December 2013 to April 2015, he was a Distinguished Chief Technologist and CTO of the Communications and Media Services for the Americas Region of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Services in Palo Alto, CA, and prior to this he was the Director of Hewlett-Packard Labs India from September 2009. Prior to joining HP Labs Palo Alto, Dixit held a joint appointment with the Centre for Internet Excellence (CiE) and the Centre for Wireless Communications (CWC) at the University of Oulu, Finland. From 1996 to 2008, he held various positions with leading companies, such as with BlackBerry as Senior Director, with Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks in the United States as Senior Research Manager, Nokia Research Fellow, Head of Nokia Research Centre (Boston), and Head of Network Technology (USA). From 1987 to 1996, he was at NYNEX Science and Technology and GTE Laboratories (both now Verizon Communications) as a Staff Director and Principal Research Scientist. Dixit has 21 patents granted by the US PTO and has published over 200 papers andedited, co-edited, or authored eight books published by Wiley, Artech House and Springer. He is presently on the editorial boards of IEEE Spectrum Magazine, Cambridge University Press Wireless Series and Springer’s Wireless Personal Communications Journal and Central European Journal of Computer Science (CEJS). He is Chairman of the Working Group C on new directions in networking and communications at the Wireless World Research Forum (WWRF), where he is also a Board Member. From 2010 to 2012, he was an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Davis, and, since 2010, he has been a Docent of Broadband Mobile Communications for Emerging Economies at the University of Oulu, Finland. A Life Fellow of the IEEE, IET, and IETE, Dixit received a Ph.D. degree in electronic science and telecommunications from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, U.K.and an M.B.A. from the Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida.