The concept of Internet of Things (IoT) has become very popular in the market now, which paves the way for a smarter, dynamic, and more connected society. The introduction of 5G technology act as a catalyst for IoT, which promises ubiquitous connectivity, higher data rate, ultra-low latency, and enhanced energy efficiency for billions of connected devices in the coming years.
As reported by RT Insights 5G IoT connections are expected to increase by 1,100% by 2026, from 13 million in 2023 to 110 million by 2026.
One of the most promising use cases for 5G IoT is massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC), which connects large numbers of low-powered devices (sensors) to the network for enabling wide variety of applications.
Source: Mordor Intelligence
Keep reading this blog to learn the different IoT technologies and advancements to enable mMTC services in 5G.
mMTC is a critical component of the 5G network services that provide low-cost, low-power, and reliable connectivity for a massive number of IoT devices. mMTC can support connection densities of up to one million devices per square kilometer, enabling massive IoT deployments.
Several advancements are required in IoT networking to enable mMTC services in 5G. Let’s explore the key advancements and technologies that can transform IoT networking to enable diverse 5G services.
Cellular and Non-Cellular Technologies: LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) technologies enables long-range communication between low power devices such as sensors to realize various IoT applications.
|Narrow-Band IoT (NB-IoT)||Cellular||It is a 3GPP standardized technology that operates on licensed spectrum bands. NB-IoT uses existing cellular infrastructure, which simplifies deployment and provides ubiquitous coverage.|
|LTE-M||Cellular||Long Term Evolution for Machines (LTE-M) is the shortened term for enhanced machine type communication low power wide area (eMTC LPWA) technology. It supports very low latency services|
|LoRAWAN||Non-cellular||Operates in unlicensed frequency bands, which reduces the cost and complexity of deployment.|
|Sigfox||Non-cellular||Sigfox operates in the unlicensed industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) bands, and it provides low-bandwidth communication with low power consumption, which enables long battery life for devices.|
5G New Radio (5G NR): Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Release 15 to 18 drives the 5G expansion for IoT. 3GPP Release 15 to 17 focuses on the unified and scalable air interface 5G NR to support the coexistence of a wide range of 5G device categories. Release 17 introduces 5G NR Light bringing new capabilities for IoT such as optimized power consumption and coverage recovery through side links.
3GPP Release 16 and 17 comprise positioning enhancements such as 3D positioning, cm-level accuracy, reducing positioning latency, and enhancements in reliability in specific areas like Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) and factory positioning.
Edge Computing: Edge computing is a distributed computing paradigm that brings computation and storage closer to IoT devices or at the network edge, reducing the volume of data which needs to be communicated over the network. This enhances the quality and performance of mMTC services with low-latency and improved security.
Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI can be used to analyze the massive amounts of data generated by IoT devices and extract meaningful insights from it. It can also be used to optimize the performance of mMTC services by predicting device behavior, identifying anomalies, and optimizing network resources.
Connectivity through Cloud SIM: To support flexible IoT deployments in the market, on-demand cellular connectivity without depending on physical SIMs (eSIMs) becomes the need of the hour. Cloud SIM becomes the best option, which connects IoT devices on demand to the network, by locating the SIM functions securely to the cloud. With Cloud SIM, the SIM functionality is embedded in the device’s hardware and can be programmed remotely to connect to different cellular networks. Cloud SIM can be updated remotely over the air, enabling greater flexibility and scalability when compared to traditional or physical SIMs.
The Way Forward
Technology is growing at a faster pace than ever. The 5G network has also been designed in an all-encompassing manner – from quickly deploying customized IoT services to catering to the needs of multiple vertical industries such as Healthcare, Manufacturing, and more. To deal with this massive connectivity, it is essential to revolutionize IoT networking for connected devices.
mMTC is one of the three main use cases of 5G networks, which supports massive connectivity with low data rate and high energy efficiency. To boost the growth of IoT, incorporation of various emerging technologies such as AI, analytics, edge computing, and more are crucial to ensure secure, reliable, and scalable mMTC services in 5G.
You can read further 5G to 6G Transition: Road to Advanced Technology, IoT, Infrastructure, and Distributed Intelligence.
Contact our 5G experts to get answers to your queries related to networking, 5G, and IoT.
 “Evolving Cellular IoT for industry digitalization”, Ericsson
 “What is mMTC in 5G? How does it work?”, antenova
 Olivier Leroux,” Revolutionizing IoT networking for connected devices”, Tata Communications