6G NR-U Based Wireless Infrastructure UAV: Standardization, Opportunities, Challenges and Future Scopes

Rojeena Bajracharya, Rakesh Shrestha, Shiho Kim, Haejoon Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Providing ubiquitous connectivity for people and equipment with a wide range of service conditions is regarded as the major design goal of 6G networks. Moreover, the future 6G networks need to be extremely flexible to enable reliable and low-latency access for the dynamic number of mobile user equipment. The current base stations (BSs) and remote relay antennas are mostly, on the other hand, installed at fixed geographic locations based on long-term traffic patterns with little re-deployment flexibility. For most 6G applications, where dynamic data traffic occurs in both spatial and temporal domains, such rigid radio access networks (RANs) are unable to maintain ubiquitous connectivity. On the other hand, the rapid advancement of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology is creating a unique opportunity for the cellular operator to realize flying wireless infrastructure called wireless infrastructure UAV (WI UAV). WI UAV supports wireless connectivity and can stir itself to improve spectral efficiency, coverage, and quality of service of the end-users. This paper introduces 6G new radio in the unlicensed band (NR-U)-based WI UAV that can be used as a base station, relay, or data collector/disseminator. UAV are categorized based on their characteristics, applications, and operations. Further, this paper discusses various regulatory and standardization initiatives for integrating UAVs into the cellular network. Non-standalone NR-U network architecture is designed and explained for WI UAV. Several opportunities and design challenges of NR-U for the WI UAV are discussed and future scopes of WI UAVs are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30536-30555
Number of pages20
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT), South Korea; in part by the Information Technology Research Center (ITRC) Support Program Supervised by the Institute for Information & Communications Technology Planning & Evaluation (IITP) under Grant IITP-2021-0-02046; and in part by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) under Grant NRF-2020H1D3A1A02080428.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 IEEE.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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