Multi-Radio Perspectives for Massive MTC Localization

The value of the location data for the Internet of Things (IoT) devices is undisputed, and today’s radio technologies provide various means to obtain these data. In this paper, we shed light on the utility of the four illustrative radio-based localization techniques, including satellite navigation and the use of BLE, LoRaWAN, and Cat-NB1 communication technologies. First, we instrument a prototype device comprising all these solutions, thus confirming the feasibility of multi-radio– enabled IoT devices supporting localization. Then, we employ this prototype to empirically assess the energy utility of different localization approaches. Our results demonstrate that in terms of energy consumption, the difference between these techniques approaches five orders of magnitude. By conducting a follow-up survey of the relevant research papers, we assess other important performance metrics, such as the operating environment and the required infrastructure, as well as their effect on the localization accuracy. By combining these results, we show that multi-radio– enabled localization solutions are more flexible than those based on a single localization solution and provide space for further optimizations, especially with regards to energy consumption. Development of such devices is an crucial step toward enabling “anytime, anywhere” localization for IoT devices.