Is the Random Access Channel of LTE and LTE-A Suitable for M2M Communications? A Survey of Alternatives
Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications have attracted great attention from both academia and industry. In this paper, with recent advances in wireless network virtualization and software-defined networking (SDN), we propose a novel framework for M2M communications in software-defined cellular networks with wireless network virtualization. In the proposed framework, according to different functions and quality of service (QoS) requirements of machine-type communication devices (MTCDs), a hypervisor enables the virtualization of the physical M2M network, which is abstracted and sliced into multiple virtual M2M networks. Moreover, we formulate a decisiontheoretic approach to optimize the random access process of M2M communications. In addition, we develop a feedback and control loop to dynamically adjust the number of resource blocks (RBs) that are used in the random access phase in a virtual M2M network by the SDN controller. Extensive simulation results with different system parameters are presented to show the performance of the proposed scheme.