Machine-to-Machine Technologies, Applications & Markets

Mischa Dohler, Jesus Alonso-Zarate
Thursday, July 4, 2013 - 09:00 to 12:30
Downtown Paris (the exact location in Paris will be given on the 20th of June)


This industry short-course, the first of its kind worldwide, focuses on the unprecedented communication paradigm of machine-to-machine (M2M), which facilitates 24/7 ultra-reliable connectivity between a prior unseen number of automated devices. The aim of this tutorial is to provide a detailed industrial, technical and market insight into latest key aspects of wireless M2M networks, with particular application to smart cities and smart grids.

We will provide an in-depth introduction to the particularities of M2M systems, and then dwell in great depths on the capillary and cellular embodiments of M2M. The focus of capillary M2M will be on IEEE (.15.4e) and IETF (6LoWPAN, ROLL, COAP) standards compliant low-power multihop networking designs; furthermore, for the first time, low power Wifi will be dealt with and positioned in the eco-system of capillary M2M. The focus of cellular M2M will be on latest activities, status and trends in leading M2M standardization bodies with technical focus on ETSI M2M and 3GPP LTE-M; furthermore, we will discuss analytical and simulation works quantifying the performance and impact of M2M in legacy cellular networks.

In addition, an M2M market and business perspective will be also provided in this tutorial. Understanding the potential of Big Data, the market trends and the business models applicable to M2M are fundamental to inspire industry to devise new technologies and put into market viable and flexible M2M solutions.

Along the entire tutorial, challenges and open issues will be identified, thus making the material presented in this tutorial useful for large and emerging industry and inspiring for innovators alike.


machine-to-machine, Industrial Internet of Things, Big data, M2M market, M2M Business case, applications, smart cities, smart grids, automotive, M2M architectures, M2M standard activities, embedded designs, cellular designs, capillary networks, LTE, Low Power WiFi, M2M platforms.

Tutorial Instructors

Mischa Dohler

IEEE ComSoc Distinguished Lecturer
Chair Professor, King’s College London, UK (1 September 2013)
Director of Research, CTTC, SpainBoard of Directors, Worldsensing, UK

Jesus Alonso-Zarate

Head of M2M Department, CTTC, Spain


3 Hours Tutorial (in English, but questions can be handled in French)

  • 9h-10h30: Tutorial
  • 10h30-11h: Break
  • 11h-12h30: Tutorial


The three-fold nature of this tutorial (big data and applications, technologies, and markets) makes it tailored to the level of practicing engineers, corporate decision makers, and advanced researchers who are interested in the fundamentals and design of M2M networks as well as in the business opportunities for M2M solutions. With an expected market size of 300b$ driven by more than 400 million of connected devices by 2014, M2M systems are gaining in serious momentum in both the academic and industrial communities. Along the entire tutorial, challenges and open issued will be identified, thus making the material presented in this tutorial useful for established as well as emerging industries.


  • €995 per participant (Companies)
  • €450 per participant (Academics)

The organizers take the right to cancel the short-course if the minimum number of registered participants is not met, with the fee of course returned.


The electronic material will be given to every participant after the tutorial.


This industry short-course is structured in five parts:

  1. In the first part, we will discuss the cradle of M2M systems and the reasoning of their emergence. We will discuss the peculiarities of these systems with emphasis on the very differing rate, delay and energy requirements. We will also dwell on their commercial importance, i.e. business projections, commercial activities worldwide, etc. A considerable part will also be dedicated to current standardization approaches, such as the 3GPP, ETSI, IEEE and IETF. Finally, canonical M2M architectures will be summarized which are then used throughout the remainder of the tutorial.
  2. In the second part, we will deal with embedded short-range systems which generally deliver M2M traffic via multiple hops towards a gateway which in turn is connected to the back-end server network or has cellular connectivity (so-called M2M Gateways). We will dwell on latest channel hopping MAC protocols, as well as virtual coordinate and gradient routing protocols, both known to exhibit superior energy efficiency in the context of M2M traffic. We will then dwell on technical details of lately standardized solutions, i.e. the IEEE 802.15.4e MAC and IETF 6LowPAN/RPL/6TSCH networking protocols. We will show, corroborated by experimental results, that a tight coupling of these protocols yields excellent performance. Finally, we will briefly discuss some important proprietary M2M solutions which have successfully penetrated the market.
  3. In the third part, we will elaborate on cellular architectures evolving around GSM, EDGE, UMTS, LTE, LTE-A, LTE-M, etc, both from the technical point of view and from the point of view of standardization bodies. Cellular networks are considered ideal radio technologies to enable M2M communications due to their ubiquitous coverage, sufficient rates, reliability and inherent support for security. In more details, we will discuss the terminal and networking architecture of already deployed M2M systems, their advantage as well as shortcomings. Notably, we will dwell on the potentials of how LTE/LTE-A need to evolve towards LTE-M. For these systems, we will discuss the technical challenges, such as reducing energy consumption, improving coverage, designing M2M traffic schedulers which do not jeopardize the overlaying cellular traffic, etc. We will introduce some of the active European projects working in this fascinating field, and we will dwell on M2M standardization international activities, with particular focus on ETSI and 3GPP.
  4. We will also draw a comprehensive comparison between these canonical architectures. We will discuss in great details the tradeoff between node performance (throughput, delay, energy efficiency), network performance (outage, lifetime) and cost (CAPEX, OPEX). Finally, we will summarize and highlight a large set of open problems which are likely to occupy the community for years to come.
  5. In the fourth part of the tutorial, we will cover the Big Data, market and business cases for M2M. We will first analyse the current M2M market and discuss the outlook for the future, presenting the different forecasts from different players of the M2M arena. Then, opportunities and innovative business models will be presented, showing the M2M revolution is still to come. Towards this ends, the M2M value chain will be revisited, pointing out hot points where there is room for innovation and opportunities. Finally, the role of mobile operators, handling big data in M2M, and becoming closer to the final user will be discussed into detail.
  6. Finally, we will dwell on open challenges and outline some of our M2M predictions. We will also leave space for discussions and Q&A.


The following syllabus will be followed:

  1. Overview of M2M
    • Quick Introduction
    • M2M Return-of-Investment (ROI)
    • M2M in Smart Cities
    • M2M in Smart Grids 
  2. Capillary M2M
    • Quick Intro to Short-Range Networks
    • IEEE-Pertinent M2M Standards
    • IETF-Pertinent M2M Standards
    • Low-Power Wifi for M2M    
  3. Cellular M2M
    • Introduction to Cellular Communications
    • M2M in Current Cellular Networks
    • M2M Cellular Standardization Activities and Alliances
    • Specific M2M Architectures, Platforms, and Performance
  4. Market and Business for M2M
    • Current M2M Market and Outlook
    • Opportunities and Business Models
    • The M2M Value Chain
    • The Role of Mobile Operators
    • Big Data in M2M 
  5. Conclusions
    • Challenges for the Future
    • Some Predictions for M2M 


Mischa Dohler has been appointed Chair Professor in Wireless Communications at King’s College London. He is Director of Research at CTTC, Barcelona. He is Distinguished Lecturer of IEEE ComSoc, Senior Member of the IEEE, and Editor-in-Chief of ETT. He frequently features as keynote speaker and had press coverage by BBC/WSJ. He is a tech company investor as well as entrepreneur, being the cofounder, former CTO and now with the Board of Directors of one of the world’s leading M2M companies Worldsensing. He is fluent in 6 languages.

In the framework of the Mobile VCE, he has pioneered research on distributed cooperative space-time encoded communication systems, dating back to December 1999 and holding some early key patents. He has published more than 160 technical journal and conference papers at a citation h-index of 32 and citation g-index of 67, holds a dozen patents, authored, co-edited and contributed to 19 books, has given more than 30 international short-courses, and participated in ETSI, IETF and other standardisation activities. He has been TPC member and co-chair of various conferences, such as technical chair of IEEE PIMRC 2008 held in Cannes, France. He is/has been holding various editorial positions for numerous IEEE and non-IEEE journals and special issues.

Since 2008 he has been with CTTC and from 2010-2012 the CTO of Worldsensing. From June 2005 to February 2008, he has been Senior Research Expert in the R&D division of France Telecom, France. From September 2003 to June 2005, he has been lecturer at King's College London, UK. At that time, he has also been London Technology Network Business Fellow receiving Anglo-Saxon business training, as well as Student Representative of the IEEE UKRI Section and member of the Student Activity Committee of IEEE Region 8 (Europe, Africa, Middle-East and Russia). He obtained his PhD in Telecommunications from King's College London, UK, in 2003, his Diploma in Electrical Engineering from Dresden University of Technology, Germany, in 2000, and his MSc degree in Telecommunications from King's College London, UK, in 1999. Prior to Telecommunications, he studied Physics in Moscow. He has won various competitions in Mathematics and Physics, and participated in the 3rd round of the International Physics Olympics for Germany.

Jesus Alonso-Zarate, is now leading the M2M Department at CTTC. He is IEEE Senior Member, received his MSc (with Honors) and PhD (Cum Laude) degrees in Telecommunication Engineering from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC, Spain) in March 2004 and February 2009, respectively. In 2011, he received the UPC Award for his thesis read during the course 2008/2009 (Premi Extraordinari de Doctorat 2011). He is now with the CTTC holding a Research Associate position. He has published more than 60 scientific papers in renowned international journals and international conferences over the last years and he has also participated in both public funded and industrial research projects. He is member of the IEEE ComSoc CSIM Technical Committee (Communication Systems Integration and Modeling) and works as reviewer and chair for numerous international conferences. He is part of the Editorial Board of the IET Wireless Sensor Systems Journal and acts as Guest Editor for a number of international journals devoted to wireless communications. In 2011, he was awarded with the Best Paper Award of IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC); in 2013, he has been awarded with the 2013 EURASIP Best Paper Award on Advances in Signal Processing.