“Oil of 21st Century: Big Data” and Energy Efficiency in M2M Communications

Oil of 21st Century: Big Data

The 1st International Workshop on GReen Optimized Wireless Networks (GROWN’13) was held at the end of fall 2013 in Lyon, France in conjunction with
The 9th IEEE International Conference on Wireless and Mobile Computing,
Networking and Communications (WiMob 2013)

It was interesting to listen to the key note speech given by Mischa Dohler, on one of the “catch-all” topics M2M and its enabling technologies. His talk was titled “ M2M in Smart Cities, Technologies and Vision” where he stated “collecting data” as the big motivation point for M2M technologies and he made this well-fit analogy by defining “Big Data” as the “Oil of 21st Century”. Yes, indeed the big data is flowing between devices and from people to devices and M2M technologies are key for collecting and sharing data end-to-end without human interaction. However, as stated by Dohler, current cellular systems are designed for human to human and accommodation of cellular M2M will require a paradigm shift. Why? There will be a lot of M2M nodes, i.e., by orders of magnitude more than humans. We humans can tolerate delay/jitter while these M2M applications cannot. We like to download big chunks of data while in M2M the data flows uplink with little traffic per node. We don’t mind recharging our devices on a daily basis while M2M nodes need to run autonomously for a long time. Autonomous security and thrust mechanisms are required for M2M while we humans raise alert when our mobile is stolen. Besides all, this should be done without disturbing current cellular services.

When it comes to short range technologies, besides some others, he made a comparison between Zigbee like solutions and Low Power Wireless LAN. He stated the problems of Zigbee like solutions as interference in ISM, lack of interoperability, having no global infrastructure and higher total cost of ownership. Basically too many repeaters, gateways, high electricity costs to run, and at the end it becomes more expensive than any cellular solution. On the other hand for “low power WiFi”, he listed the advantages such as ubiquitous infrastructure, interference management, vibrant standard 802.11, and energy efficiency. When we think about when the Zigbee first came out, it was advertised to be the energy efficient solution, but it turned out that Wifi, an already available system was 10 times better and low power Wifi products were already in the mass market.

About Cicek Cavdar

Cicek Cavdar is working as a researcher at Wireless@KTH and Communications Systems Department at the School of ICT at KTH under RSLab. She has finished her Ph.D studies in Computer Science, University of California, Davis in 2008 and in Istanbul Technical University(ITU), Turkey in 2009. After her PhD, she worked as an Assistant Professor in Computer Engineering Department, ITU. Her research interests include design, performance analysis and optimization of telecom networks with focus on energy efficiency and resilience. Currently she is coordinating the EIT-ICT Labs project "5GrEEn: Towards Green 5G Mobile Networks".
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