MHRD Scheme on Global Initiative on Academic Network (GIAN)

Proposed Course: Wireless Protocols and Spectrum Regulation Policies for IoT

1.0 Overview

A very diversified set of enabling technologies and communication protocols would be essential for satisfying the performance requirements of the multitude of IoT (Internet of Things) applications. Different IoT network configurations ranging from Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPAN) to Wireless Wide Area Networks (WWAN) using standardised and/or proprietary technologies are being implemented. An extremely active eco-system involving Standardisation bodies like IEEE, ETSI, 3GPP and IETF; business fora like ZigBee, Thread, WiFi Alliance, GSMA, LoRA Alliance as well as equipment vendors and service operators, has been operational for the past decade and is well poised to continue progressing for the next decade(s) to come.

Variety of IoT applications including Smart Home, Smart Cities, eHealth and Control of Cyber-Physical Systems bring major technical challenges in relation to system scalability; system response time & resilience, and energy & cost efficiency. To meet these challenges, standardisation of enhanced versions of the existing communication protocols and the development of new protocols for IoT applications have been undertaken. C-IoT; IEEE 802.15.xx and LTE-A (Rel 11 to Rel 14) and the IETF suite of Networking and Application layer protocols (6LoWPAN; ROLL; CoAP - mandatory for efficient operation of resource constrained devices such as sensors), are examples of the first and second categories, respectively.

The proposed short course will provide a detailed overview of wireless communication protocols for small cell (IEEE 802.15.4xx and IEEE 802.11ac&ah) and large cell networks (LTE–CatM; NB-IoT) operating in the “License Exempt” and “Licensed” band respectively. Additionally, the special case of LPWAN (LoRA, Sigfox) type of large cell networks implemented using the License Exempt band (initially foreseen for Short Range Devices) will be discussed. The description of Spectrum Regulations (in the three ITU Regions) necessary for enabling the co-existence of multiple UNB (Ultra Narrow Band systems like Sigfox) and/or CSS (Chirp Spread Spectrum systems like LoRA) networks will complete this section.

Regular sessions of hands-on work on performance evaluation of different protocols as well as on the analysis of technical trade-offs and eventual inter-layer (protocol) compatibility issues will be included in the course. Discussion on the on-going research/standardisation activities on e.g., spectrally efficient modulation/channel coding of short data packets and the highly scalable Random Access Protocols capable of handling massive number of IoT nodes in 5G applications will form the concluding chapters. This course is expected to be of interest equally to the experienced practicing engineers (from vendor and operator organisations) as well as to experts from academia.

2.0 Objectives

The primary objectives of the course are as follows:

  1. Provide a unified view of the vast multiplicity of communication protocols and spectrum requirements for wireless IoT systems
  2. Discuss the technical trade-offs involved in relation to both the inter-layer protocol compatibility and performance optimization issues in real world implementation.
  3. Learn to mathematically model problems that arise in IoT.
  4. Become familiar with open research problems and promising approaches to solve them.

3.0 Teaching Faculty with allotment of Lectures and Tutorials

  1. Dr. Vinod Kumar (VK): 12 hrs lectures
  2. Dr. Amira Alloum (AA) : 2 hrs lectures

4.0 Course details

The course is organized into 12 lectures, with one 2 hour lecture, six 1.5 hour lectures, and five 1 hour lectures. In addition, there will be an hour long open discussion and perspectives session, along with a multiple choice question type final examination on the last day of the course.

4.1 Tentative Duration:

July 24 – July 28, 2017 (5 days): 16 hrs lectures over 5 days

4.2 Tentative Lecture Schedule


  • Lecture 1: 1.5 hrs: VK
    • Hype and Reality in the very dynamic IoT eco-system
    • Brief description of wireless and networking technologies for diversified application domains
    • Standardisation and Spectrum allocation landscape
  • Lecture 2: 1.5 hrs: VK
    • Wide Area Wireless Access Networks (WWAN) and Low Power WAN’s in Licensed and Licence Exempt Spectrum – Part 1
  • Lecture 3: 1 hr: CRM
    • Open research problems on the application of data analytics, with emphasis on multi-modal data in IoT
    • Domain-specific applications such as localization, agriculture, health monitoring systems, security

Day 2

  • Lecture 4: 1.5 hrs: VK
    • Wide Area Wireless Access Networks (WWAN) and Low Power WAN’s in Licensed and Licence Exempt Spectrum – Part 2
    • Hands-on session: Performance limits (coverage range and capacity) of existing LPWAN’s (LoRA, SigFox)
  • Lecture 5: 1.5 hrs: VK
    • Positioning of IETF Standardized Routing and Application Protocols for resource constrained devices deployed in Wireless Personal Area and Wireless Local Area Networks for IoT
  • Lecture 6: 1 hr: AA
    • Selection criteria for short and very short block length coding schemes for signaling and data in Future Mobile Wireless Applications

Day 3

  • Lecture 7: 1.5 hrs: VK
    • Air-interface (PHY and MAC) protocols for WPAN; WLAN and Wireless Neighbourhood Area Networks (WNAN) – Part 1
  • Lecture 8: 1.5 hrs: VK
    • Air-interface (PHY and MAC) protocols for WPAN; WLAN and Wireless Neighbourhood Area Networks (WNAN) – Part 2
    • Hands-on session: Cross-Layer Performance issues between protocols for resource constrained devices – ex RoLL and IEEE 802.15.4 MAC.
  • Lecture 9: 1 hr: AA
    • Short Block Length Coding families and decoding algorithms in competition in 3GPP

Day 4

  • Lecture 10: 2.0 hrs: VK
    • Case Study in IoT: Asset Tracking with RFID and performance optimization of Aloha and Tree protocols
  • Lecture 11: 1 hr: CRM
    • Open research problems in information theoretic limits and MAC layer protocols for IoT.
    • Scalability of energy efficient routing protocols with emphasis on their relation to energy scavenging techniques
  • Lecture 12: 1 hr: CRM + VK
    • Open discussion and Q&A

Day 5

  • Lecture 12 (contd.): 1 hr: VK+AA+CRM
    • Examination with MCQs
    • Global wrap-up and collection of feedback

Date of Examination: July 28, 2017

5.0 Who can attend

  • Executives, engineers and researchers from manufacturing, service and government organizations including R&D laboratories.
  • Students at all levels (BTech/MSc/MTech/PhD) and Faculty from academic and technical institutions.

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