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Publication Date

Manuscript Submission Deadline

Special Issue

Call for Papers

Last decades stood witness to the remarkable achievement of the wireless technologies in terms of connecting the people all over the world. Recently, there has been a growing interest from both academia and industry in another direction – to provide ubiquitous connectivity among machines, autonomous devices and things. Such a paradigm shift from human-type communications (HTC) toward machine-type communications (MTC) is mainly driven by the need to create Internet of Things (IoT), which holds the promise to revolutionize the way we live and work through seamless interactions between a large number of devices. With the increasing popularity of intelligent transportation, smart city, etc., it is envisioned that the number of IoT devices will reach 75 billion by 2025, which is much larger than the number of the mobile phone users. To provide wireless connectivity to such a large number of devices by the time IoT comes to fruition, the third-generation partnership project (3GPP) has identified massive machine-type communications (mMTC) as one of the three main use cases of the fifth-generation (5G) wireless systems.

As compared to its HTC counterpart, mMTC gives rises to new communication models and associated challenges that need to be addressed. For example, high-speed downlink communication is prioritized in HTC, while low-rate uplink communication, e.g., the collection of small-payload measurements from a massive number of smart meters, is of utmost importance to mMTC. Therefore, short packet transmission techniques should be investigated in mMTC, where the overhead arising from the control signals needs to be significantly reduced since their size can be similar to that of the data packets. Moreover, the contention-based random access schemes that are widely used for HTC, e.g., ALOHA, may lead to a vast number of collisions in mMTC when there are thousands of IoT devices competing for the access grant. This calls for innovative access strategies, combining random access and scheduling that are tailored to mMTC. Further, novel solutions, such as network slicing of wireless resources, are required to enable the co-existence of HTC and mMTC in the future cellular networks.

Motivated by the crucial role of mMTC in IoT and the dramatically new challenges arising from mMTC as compared to HTC, this Special Issue (SI) aims to bring together researchers, industry practitioners, and individuals working on the related areas to share their new ideas, latest findings, and state-of-the-art results. Prospective authors are invited to submit articles on topics including, but not limited to:

  • New opportunities/challenges/use cases for mMTC in 5G and beyond
  • Traffic patterns and communication models for massive IoT
  • Information/communication theory for mMTC
  • Cellular IoT networks
  • Low power wide area networks and spectrum sharing
  • Short packet transmission techniques in mMTC
  • Grant-free random access and unsourced random access schemes
  • Joint user activity detection and channel estimation
  • Machine learning for mMTC
  • Physical-layer security for mMTC
  • Network slicing for coexistence of mMTC and HTC
  • Orthogonal and non-orthogonal multiple access schemes
  • Massive MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) and cell-free MIMO for mMTC
  • Downlink aspects of massive IoT systems

Submission Guidelines

Manuscripts should conform to the standard format as indicated in the Information for Authors section of the Paper Submission Guidelines.

All manuscripts to be considered for publication must be submitted by the deadline through Manuscript Central. Select the “August 2021/Massive Machine-Type Communications for IoT” topic from the drop-down menu of Topic/Series titles.

Important Dates

Manuscript Submission Deadline: 15 November 2020
Initial Decision Date: 1 February 2021
Revised Manuscript Due: 1 March 2021
Final Decision Date: 1 April 2021
Final Manuscript Due: 15 June 2021
Publication Date: August 2021

Guest Editors

Liang Liu
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China

Erik G. Larsson
Linköping University, Sweden

Petar Popovski
Aalborg University, Denmark

Giuseppe Caire
The Technical University of Berlin, Germany

Xiaoming Chen
Zhejiang University, China

Saeed R. Khosravirad
Nokia Bell Labs, USA