Energy Efficiency of Multi-Radio Massive Machine-Type Communication (MR-MMTC)
While the IoT has made significant progress along the lines of supporting its individual applications, there are many MMTC scenarios in which the performance offered by any single RAT available today might be insufficient. To address these use cases, we introduce the concept of MR-MMTC, which implies the availability and utilization of several RATs within a single IoT device. We begin by offering insights into which use cases could be beneficial and what the key challenges for MR-MMTC implementation are. We continue by discussing the potential technical solutions and employing our own prototype of an MR-MMTC device capable of using LoRaWAN and NB-IoT RATs to characterize its energy-centric performance across the alternative feasible MR-MMTC implementation strategies. The obtained results reveal that an increased flexibility delivered by MR-MMTC permits the selection of more energy-efficient RAT options. The IoT devices capable of utilizing multiple radios simultaneously can thus improve their energy utilization by leveraging the synergy between RATs. The novel vision of MR-MMTC outlined in this work could be impactful across multiple fields, and calls for cross-community research efforts in order to adequately design, implement, and deploy future multi-RAT MMTC solutions.