Creating and sharing knowledge for telecommunications

Towards Efficient Mobile M2M Communications: Survey and Open Challenges

Pereira, C. ; Aguiar, A.

Sensors Vol. 14, Nº 10, pp. 19582 - 19608, October, 2014.

ISSN (print): 1424-3210
ISSN (online): 1424-8220

Journal Impact Factor: 2,033 (in 2015)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.3390/s141019582

Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications enable networked devices and services to exchange information and perform actions seamlessly without the need for human intervention. They are viewed as a key enabler of the Internet of Things (IoT) and ubiquitous applications, like mobile healthcare, telemetry, or intelligent transport systems. We survey existing work on mobile M2M communications, we identify open challenges that have a direct impact on performance and resource usage efficiency, especially the impact on energy efficiency, and we review techniques to improve communications. We review the ETSI standard and application protocols, and draw considerations on the impact of their use in constrained mobile devices. Nowadays, smartphones are equipped with a wide range of embedded sensors, with varied local and wide area connectivity capabilities, and thus they offer a unique opportunity to serve as mobile gateways for other more constrained devices with local connectivity. At the same time, they can gather context data about users and environment from the embedded sensors. These capabilities may be crucial for mobile M2M applications. Finally, in this paper, we consider a scenario where smartphones are used as gateways that collect and aggregate data from sensors in a cellular network. We conclude that, in order for their use to the feasible in terms of a normal depletion time of a smartphone's battery, it is a good advice to maximize the collection of data necessary to be transmitted from nearby sensors, and maximize the intervals between transmissions. More research is required to devise energy efficient transmission methods that enable the use of smartphones as mobile gateways.