Convergent Communication, Sensing and Localization in 6G Systems: An Overview of Technologies, Opportunities and Challenges
Review article, 2021

Herein, we focus on convergent 6G communication, localization and sensing systems by identifying key technology enablers, discussing their underlying challenges, implementation issues, and recommending potential solutions. Moreover, we discuss exciting new opportunities for integrated localization and sensing applications, which will disrupt traditional design principles and revolutionize the way we live, interact with our environment, and do business. Regarding potential enabling technologies, 6G will continue to develop towards even higher frequency ranges, wider bandwidths, and massive antenna arrays. In turn, this will enable sensing solutions with very fine range, Doppler, and angular resolutions, as well as localization to cm-level degree of accuracy. Besides, new materials, device types, and reconfigurable surfaces will allow network operators to reshape and control the electromagnetic response of the environment. At the same time, machine learning and artificial intelligence will leverage the unprecedented availability of data and computing resources to tackle the biggest and hardest problems in wireless communication systems. As a result, 6G will be truly intelligent wireless systems that will provide not only ubiquitous communication but also empower high accuracy localization and high-resolution sensing services. They will become the catalyst for this revolution by bringing about a unique new set of features and service capabilities, where localization and sensing will coexist with communication, continuously sharing the available resources in time, frequency, and space. This work concludes by highlighting foundational research challenges, as well as implications and opportunities related to privacy, security, and trust.

Location awareness





Robot sensing systems




5G mobile communication



6G mobile communication


Frequency measurement






Carlos De Lima

University of Oulu

Didier Belot

The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA)

Rafael Berkvens

University of Antwerp

Andre Bourdoux

Interuniversity Micro-Electronics Center at Leuven

Davide Dardari

University of Bologna

Maxime Guillaud


Minna Isomursu

University of Oulu

E.S. Lohan

University of Tampere

Yang Miao

University of Twente

A. N. Barreto

Barkhausen Institut

Muhammad Reza Kahar Aziz

Institut Teknologi Sumatera (ITERA)

Jani Saloranta

University of Oulu

Tachporn Sanguanpuak

University of Oulu

Hadi Sarieddeen

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

G. Seco-Granados

Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB)

Jaakko Suutala

University of Oulu

Tommy Svensson

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Communication, Antennas and Optical Networks

M. Valkama

University of Tampere

Barend Van Liempd

Interuniversity Micro-Electronics Center at Leuven

Henk Wymeersch

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Communication, Antennas and Optical Networks

IEEE Access

2169-3536 (ISSN) 21693536 (eISSN)

Vol. 9 26902-26925 9330512

Subject Categories

Computer Engineering

Other Computer and Information Science

Computer Systems



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