Leveraging heterogeneous device connectivity in a converged 5G-IoT ecosystem
As mobile communications technology is completing its fifth-generation (5G) cycle, it becomes increasingly capable of supporting novel usage scenarios with stringent performance requirements. Beyond seamless broadband connectivity for humans, 5G systems are preparing to enable a wide range of machine-type applications, thus advancing the vision of the Internet of Things (IoT). Facilitated by the rapidly converging 5G-IoT ecosystem, next-generation industrial IoT services, however, pose unprecedented research problems, primarily along the lines of providing wireless connectivity with ubiquitous availability, extreme reliability, and ultra-low latency. To this end, the first part of this paper presents a concise update on the novel requirements and challenges in the context of the emerging Industrial Internet infrastructure. In the second part, we introduce and solve a new optimization problem formulation aimed at improving performance reliability for advanced IoT devices equipped with several radio access technologies. We argue that by intelligently leveraging such heterogeneous multi-connectivity, future 5Ggrade IoT applications will be able to improve their levels of operational reliability. Our conclusions are corroborated by rigorous mathematical derivations as well as several realistic numerical examples.