This article provides an overview of the fifth generation of cellular communications (5G) and beyond. It presents the transmission techniques of current 5G communications and those expected of future developments, namely a brief study of non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA) using the single carrier with frequency domain equalization (SC-FDE) block transmission technique, evidencing its added value in terms of spectral efficiency. An introduction to the sixth generation of cellular communications (6G) is also provided. The insertion of 5G and 6G within the Fourth Industrial Revolution framework (also known as Industry 4.0) is also dealt with. Consisting of a change in paradigm, when compared to previous generations, 5G supports a myriad of new services based on the Internet of things (IoT) and on vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications, supporting technologies such as autonomous driving, smart cities, and remote surgery. The new services provided by 5G are supported by new techniques, such as millimeter waves (mm-wave), in addition to traditional microwave communication, and by massive multiple-input multiple-output (m-MIMO) technology. These techniques were not employed in the fourth generation of cellular communications (4G). While 5G plays an important role in the initial implementation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, 6G will address a number of new services such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), holographic services, the advanced Internet of things (IoT), AI-infused applications, wireless brain–computer interaction (BCI), and mobility at higher speeds. The current research on systems beyond 5G indicates that these applications shall be supported by new MIMO techniques and make use of terahertz (THz) bands.
- Industry 4.0
- Massive MIMO