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Massive Machine Type Communications

Machine Type Communications (MTC) are characterized by fully automatic data generation, exchange, processing and actuation among intelligent machines, without or with low intervention of humans. With the rapid penetration of embedded devices, MTC are becoming the dominant communication paradigm for a wide range of emerging smart services including healthcare, manufacturing, utilities, consumer goods and transportation. Industry analysts predict that 50 billion devices will be connected to mobile networks worldwide by 2020.  While mobile phones devices communicating among humans will still exist, machine type devices sending bits of information to other machines, servers, clouds or humans will account for a much larger proportion and thus create what is referred to as Massive Machine Type Communications (MMTC). 

MMTC model is different from current human communication models in that it involves a potentially very large number of small and power-constrained devices, where each device infrequently transmitting low volume of non-delay sensitive information. Furthermore, different MMTC services will exhibit different traffic patterns which, combined with the sheer number of devices, makes the problem of resource allocation very challenging. While the current wireless networks are mainly designed for human type communications, MMTC with its various device types, traffic patterns, and performance requirements will result in very different network structures. With 2020 approaching, enhancing the existing wireless access networks for MMTC is becoming critical.

The fifth generation (5G) mobile communications are on the horizon. 5G is expected to transform our lives and unleash enormous economic potential. We now have the opportunity to redefine our networks with 5G technologies to enable not only faster data access and to support greater capacity, but also incorporate MMTC to support a wealth of new and diverse connected devices and services that comprise the Internet of Things (IoT). Many new challenges arise in term of scalable deployment, energy efficient operation, integration with LTE-A and future 5G mobile communications, protocol flexibility and optimization for a wide range of diverse applications.

We solicit papers in a variety of topics presenting the current development and addressing the challenges in Massive MTC. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • MMTC network architecture and topology design
  • Large scale MMTC deployments: simulations, evaluations, testbeds and experimentations
  • MMTC standardization activities in 3GPP and IEEE
  • Energy efficient design and operation for MMTC
  • Traffic modeling for MMTC devices
  • MMTC protocols design and optimization for resource allocation
  • Reliability and Quality of Service for MMTC
  • Privacy concerns and security policies for MMTC
  • Spectrum sharing and management for MMTC
  • Integrating MMTC with LTE-A and in future 5G
  • MMTC applications and services
  • Energy harvesting for MMTC

GUEST EDITORS

Prof. Eryk Dutkiewicz (Corresponding Guest Editor)
University of Technology Sydney, Australia
eryk.dutkiewicz@uts.edu.au

Dr Xavier Costa-Perez
NEC Laboratories Europe, Germany
xavier.costa@neclab.eu

Dr István Z. Kovács
Nokia, Denmark
istvan.kovacs@nokia.com

Dr Markus Mueck
Intel, Germany
markus.dominik.mueck@intel.com