Imagine a scenario in which many devices are connected and communicating with each other, for instance in a manufacturing plant. Here, one machine tells another which parts are required for completing the next steps in the process, or it communicates which procedures are needed to complete an order. Required components can be ordered, processed, and adjusted down the supply chain – all in real-time and on a large scale.
This is already the reality for some manufacturing companies, and with 5G this can be enhanced and implemented more widely. Massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC) is a new service category of 5G that can support an extremely high connection density of online devices. Through the mMTC connections, devices can talk to one another by intermittently transmitting small amounts of traffic. It is designed for the scalable and efficient connectivity of a massive number of devices sending very short packets, which cannot be adequately done in cellular systems designed for human-type communications. One of the main application areas of 5G will therefore likely be in IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) communication.