Power Efficient Random Access for Massive NB-IoT Connectivity

Sensors (Basel). 2019 Nov 13;19(22):4944. doi: 10.3390/s19224944.


Sensors enabled Internet of things (IoT) has become an integral part of the modern, digital and connected ecosystem. Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) technology is one of its economical versions preferable when low power and resource limited sensors based applications are considered. One of the major characteristics of NB-IoT technology is its offer of reliable coverage enhancement (CE) which is achieved by repeating the transmission of signals. This repeated transmission of the same signal challenges power saving in low complexity NB-IoT devices. Additionally, the NB-IoT devices are expected to suffer from congestion due to simultaneous random access procedures (RAPs) from an enormous number of devices. Multiple RAP reattempts would further reduce the power saving in NB-IoT devices. We propose a novel power efficient RAP (PE-RAP) for reducing power consumption of NB-IoT devices in a highly congested environment. The existing RAP do not differentiate the failures due to poor channel conditions or due to collision. After the RAP failure either due to collision or poor channel, the devices can apply power ramping or can transit to a higher CE level with higher repetition configuration. In the proposed PE-RAP, the NB-IoT devices can re-ascertain the channel conditions after an RAP attempt failure such that the impediments due to poor channel are reduced. The power increments and repetition enhancements are applied only when necessary. We probabilistically obtain the chances of RAP reattempts. Subsequently, we evaluate the average power consumption by devices in different CE levels for different repetition configurations. We validate our analysis by simulation studies.

Keywords: NB-IoT; collision probability; coverage enhancement; power consumption; random access.