From M2M Communications to Internet of Things – a workshop

Valencia, 37°C in September; PIMRC 2016 got it right for the summer enthusiasts, but that didn’t stop us from having a great workshop on IoT-related topics.

We had two keynotes, the first one by Magnus Frodigh (Research Area Director, Wireless Access Networks, Ericsson) on 5G Machine-Type Communication technologies; the focus was on the double effort to provide connectivity to (1) low-cost mMTC, with some NB-IoT modules expected to reach as low as 5USD per unit, and (2) mission-critical communications, which still is a growing research area for 5G.

The second keynote speaker was Preben Mogensen (Professor at Aalborg University and Principal Engineer at Nokia – Bell Labs) on the IoT evolution towards 5G; an excellent overview of mMTC, Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communication (URLLC), V2X and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)—all of them in the context of 5G.

mMTC in 5G is having undivided opinions: not much to be done here; for massive, low-cost devices the answer is somewhere else. 5G work is looking into control and mission critical scenarios. Even for V2X, 4G technologies can cover baseline requirements. One slide that caught my attention was about the interference problems that might be generated when covering drones with cellular technologies: basically, as drones go up, the inference increases since the line of sight probability and the line of sight radius increases, effectively having more interfering neighbours in LOS… is this a new dimension to considering in near-future network deployments?

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