Machine-type communication (MTC) can be referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT). It is the technology that connects devices without human intervention.
LTE-M technology, also called category M (CAT-M) or enhanced MTC (eMTC), offers low throughput and low bandwidth compared to LTE.
The mMTC use case of 5G communication is utilized for smart metering applications, as it offers a cost-effective solution with high security, low power usage, excellent coverage, and high throughput.
Smart metering is an mMTC application
Most of the world’s population lives in urban areas. To support population growth, cities must develop cost-effective and efficient ways to manage resources and operations. Automation and connectivity are essential. To enable citywide resource management, sensors are placed everywhere, and the data collected is processed and analyzed to make any necessary changes in operation. The implementation of such systems in areas with high device density is supported by a 5G service category called massive Machine-Type Communication (mMTC).
Establishing a city-wide IoT network connecting various sensors for resource management is a major mMTC application that will change city operations globally. Let’s learn more about mMTC and its applications.
Machine-Type Communication (MTC)
Machine-type communication (MTC) can be referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT). It is the technology that connects devices without any human intervention. Sensors are placed everywhere to enable IoT systems. Devices generate data, which is sent to a cloud server for analysis. Further decisions on the operation or functionality of the device are made based on the data analysis results.
MTC connects devices; home appliances can be controlled using MTC. Other devices that use MTC technology include fitness bands, smartwatches, and smart lights.
Machine-type communication technology is generally classified into:
- Non-3GPP MTC - Non-3GPP MTC technology is also known as proprietary technology or low-power wide area networks (LPWAN). This technology is cheaper due to the use of an unlicensed spectrum. The technology is a non-3GPP standard and is only available in some locations.
- 3GPP MTC - 3GPP MTC technologies include the following sub-technologies based on the low-power wide area coverage.
- LTE-M - LTE-M technology is called category M (CAT-M) or enhanced MTC (eMTC). It offers low throughput and low bandwidth compared to LTE. The frequency spectrum operation is confined to 1.4MHz.
- Narrow-Band IoT (NB-IoT) - Evolved from LTE, the new technology of NB-IoT is optimized to provide low throughput and sporadic data communication required by MTC devices.
- EC-GSM - Extended coverage GSM is preferred for IoT-based applications.
These existing technologies fail to meet the latency and reliability requirements of new applications such as autonomous cars, industrial automation, and resource management. For such applications, the 5G mMTC service category must be utilized.
For applications demanding a large number of device connectivity and low latency, the mMTC service category is significant. The 5G mMTC service category is widely utilized for establishing connections between online devices. The mMTC service category supports transmissions of small packets of data sporadically between huge numbers of devices ranging up to 1 billion devices per cell. Rather than high-speed, large-volume data transmission, 5G mMTC use cases put importance on small packet data transmission techniques. The collisions that can arise from traditional human-type communication-based schemes are eliminated in massive machine-type communication by establishing innovative access strategies. The mMTC service can be tailored to combine random access and scheduling strategies when there are thousands of IoT devices waiting for access.
Let’s look at one of the mMTC applications in detail.
Smart Metering: An mMTC Application
To maximize resource utilization in smart cities, smart meters are introduced. These smart meters register periodic readings and collect the profile for object resource consumption. This profile is used to make future decisions on energy needs.
It is important that smart meters require accurate and timely data to operate according to the prevailing situation. Connectivity is a crucial aspect of smart metering. The mMTC use case of 5G communication is utilized for smart metering applications, as it offers a cost-effective solution with high security, low power usage, excellent coverage, and high throughput.
Characteristics of mMTC Applications in Smart Metering
The characteristics of the network used in smart energy metering are:
- Extreme power efficiency
- Expanded network connectivity and range
- Compliance with 3GPP industry standards
- Secured integration with the cloud
- Secure remote access and reduced cost
- Unprecedented reliability
The aforementioned characteristics make mMTC applications noteworthy in smart metering. mMTC applications make smart metering an easy task that paves the way for intelligent decisions in future energy management.
Cadence circuit design software can assist you in developing 5G mMTC application systems.
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