Machine type communications: key drivers and enablers towards the 6G era

Nurul Huda Mahmood*, Stefan Böcker, Ingrid Moerman, Onel A. López, Andrea Munari, Konstantin Mikhaylov, Federico Clazzer, Hannes Bartz, Ok Sun Park, Eric Mercier, Selma Saidi, Diana Moya Osorio, Riku Jäntti, Ravikumar Pragada, Elina Annanperä, Yihua Ma, Christian Wietfeld, Martin Andraud, Gianluigi Liva, Yan ChenEduardo Garro, Frank Burkhardt, Chen-Feng Liu, Hirley Alves, Markus Kelanti, Yalcin Sadi, Jean Baptiste Doré, Eunah Kim, JaeSheung Shin, Gi-Yoon Park, Seok-Ki Kim, Chanho Yoon, Khoirul Anwar, Pertti Seppänen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
121 Downloads (Pure)


The recently introduced 5G New Radio is the first wireless standard natively designed to support critical and massive machine type communications (MTC). However, it is already becoming evident that some of the more demanding requirements for MTC cannot be fully supported by 5G networks. Alongside, emerging use cases and applications towards 2030 will give rise to new and more stringent requirements on wireless connectivity in general and MTC in particular. Next generation wireless networks, namely 6G, should therefore be an agile and efficient convergent network designed to meet the diverse and challenging requirements anticipated by 2030. This paper explores the main drivers and requirements of MTC towards 6G, and discusses a wide variety of enabling technologies. More specifically, we first explore the emerging key performance indicators for MTC in 6G. Thereafter, we present a vision for an MTC-optimized holistic end-to-end network architecture. Finally, key enablers towards (1) ultra-low power MTC, (2) massively scalable global connectivity, (3) critical and dependable MTC, and (4) security and privacy preserving schemes for MTC are detailed. Our main objective is to present a set of research directions considering different aspects for an MTC-optimized 6G network in the 2030-era.

Original languageEnglish
Article number134
Number of pages25
JournalEURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2021
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • 6G
  • E2E performance
  • Machine type communications
  • Random access
  • Ultra reliable low-latency communications
  • Zero-energy MTC


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