Ask the Authors: Cellular Internet of Things, 2nd edition

By: , Posted on: January 16, 2020

We chat to the authors of the recently published Cellular Internet of Things, 2nd edition about changes in the field and how their book content can help engineers working in 5G IoT.

  • Q1. What key developments have occurred in the standards since the first edition of Cellular Internet of Things?

The first edition focuses on the work 3GPP performed in the area of massive IoT in Releases 13 and 14. It covers EC-GSM-IoT, NB-IoT and LTE-M. Since then the 3GPP massive IoT standards have evolved to address new use cases and to meet the 5G performance requirements. In parallel, the MulteFire Alliance (MFA) have adapted NB-IoT and LTE-M to support operation in licenses exempt frequency bands in Europe and US.

In Release 15 3GPP introduced the support for the 5G system (5GS), defined by the 5G New Radio (NR) and the 5G Core Network (5GC). Besides enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), the first NR release supports ultra-reliable and low latency communications (URLLC), i.e. critical IoT. 5G NR also supports dynamic spectrum sharing with LTE, including NB‑IoT and LTE-M. Release 15 also added support for URLLC in LTE as well as Drone communication.


For a limited time you can access Chapter 2: Global cellular IoT standards on ScienceDirect.


  • Q2. How have you reflected these in the new edition?

The second and extended edition aims to provide a complete description of the 3GPP Release 15 technologies supporting massive and critical IoT. Compared to the first edition both the technology and performance chapters covering LTE-M and NB-IoT have been updated. The dynamic spectrum sharing with NR is explained and it is shown how LTE-M and NB-IoT meet the 5G performance requirements. One chapter is dedicated to the work done in MFA to develop LTE‑M‑U and NB‑IoT‑U to support operation in unlicensed frequency bands.

The book also contains four full chapters describing LTE and NR URLLC. We provide both a technology description as well as a presentation of the performance potential of these technologies. Again, it is shown how the performance fulfills the 5G targets.  We also dedicate one chapter for a description of the optimizations done in LTE to support drone communication.

  • Q3. How can your book help an engineer implementing 5G IoT?

Throughout the book our aim has been to provide a detailed description of the technologies defining the Cellular Internet of Things. Besides the technical aspects we present performance evaluations for each of the technologies. One chapter in the book summarizes and compares the performance of the different solutions. It provides a detailed discussion on when to select which IoT technology. Our hope is that this part will provide a guidance in the initial selection of a suitable IoT technology. The simulated performance we present may also serve as a benchmark that can be used to verify the performance of real implementations.

The technical descriptions aim to make the specifications easily accessible. For an engineer working with 5G we hope that the book will provide a good technical introduction to critical and massive IoT. It should serve as a complement to the 3GPP specifications, and provides a background and an explanation for the design decisions taken by 3GPP when developing these technologies.

  • Q4. What developments in 5G IoT will happen in the next three years?

The ambitions to broaden and optimize the massive IoT service capabilities will continue. This work is fueled by the commercial success and rapid deployments of LTE‑M and NB‑IoT across the world. Adaptations of the technologies to support satellite communications to truly cover the uncovered is also discussed in 3GPP.

In terms of critical IoT, the cellular industry have a strong focus on creating a new market for industrial IoT. To make 5G relevant industrial use cases need to be addressed, as well as the integration of 5G within larger industrial systems. New important features in this direction are, for example, the 5G support for time-sensitive networking (TSN) and non-public networks (NPN). 3GPP Release 17 is also anticipated to evolve NR to support industrial sensor networks.


About the book   

Cellular Internet of Things: 2nd Edition From Massive Deployments to Critical 5G Applications

  • Provides ubiquitous wireless connectivity for a diverse range of services and applications, describing their performance and how their specifications were developed to meet the most demanding requirements
  • Describes licensed and unlicensed technologies based on 2G, 4G and 5G technologies and how they have evolved towards the Cellular IoT
  • Presents the Narrowband Internet of Things technology and how GSM, LTE and NR have been designed to provide Cellular Internet of Things services
  • Provides use cases that cover ultra-low complex systems connecting billions of devices (massive MTC, mMTC), critical MTC and cMTC based on Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications (URLLC) to meet strict latency and reliability requirements

For a limited time you can access Chapter 2: Global cellular IoT standards on ScienceDirect.

The book is available now on ScienceDirect. Want your own copy? Order via Elsevier and Enter STC320 at the checkout to save up to 30%.






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