Cellular IoT Traffic Characterization and Evolution

Benjamin Finley, Alexandr Vesselkov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

93 Downloads (Pure)


The adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies is increasing and thus IoT is seemingly shifting from hype to reality. However, the actual use of IoT over significant timescales has not been empirically analyzed. In other words the reality remains unexplored. Furthermore, despite the variety of IoT verticals, the use of IoT across vertical industries has not been compared. This paper uses a two-year IoT dataset from a major Finnish mobile network operator to investigate different aspects of cellular IoT traffic including temporal evolution and the use of IoT devices across industries. We present a variety of novel findings. For example, our results show that IoT traffic volume per device increased three-fold over the last two years. Additionally, we illustrate diversity in IoT usage among different industries with orders of magnitude differences in traffic volume and device mobility. Though we also note that the daily traffic patterns of all devices can be clustered into only three patterns, differing mainly in the presence and timing of a peak hour. Finally, we illustrate that the share of LTE-enabled IoT devices has remained low at around 2% and 30% of IoT devices are still GPRS-only.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE 5th World Forum on Internet of Things, WF-IoT 2019 - Conference Proceedings
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5386-4980-0
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventIEEE World Forum on Internet of Things - Limerick, Ireland
Duration: 15 Apr 201918 Apr 2019
Conference number: 5


ConferenceIEEE World Forum on Internet of Things
Abbreviated titleWF-IoT


  • Cellular Network
  • Empirical Measurements
  • IoT
  • M2M


Dive into the research topics of 'Cellular IoT Traffic Characterization and Evolution'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • Digital Disruption of Industry


    Project: Academy of Finland: Strategic research funding

Cite this