Does M2M need a silo network outside of 5G (whatever that is)?

As the industry attempts to define 5G, one researcher questions whether it needs to include M2M, or whether M2M support will in many cases be better suited to a "silo" technology.

Head of Mobile Research at BT, Dr David Wisely, has said that cellular technologies will not be able handle the wide range of IoT use cases, and that “5G” definitions may require a “silo” network technology dedicated to M2M.

Addressing the topic of what constituted a 5G network and asking “Is 5G going to be the network to deliver everything” at a recent
Cambridge Wireless event Wisely asked: “Do we create a 5G that’s all encompassing, [providing] mass-market data to consumers and SMEs, and M2M. Or do we say it can’t be both, you need a different piece of spectrum, a way of doing M2M so you end up with a silo? An example would be TV Whitespace, is that a silo outside of 5G?”

Wisely said that some of the demands of some M2M applications – ubiquitous coverage including in basements, very low power, low cost, very high location accuracy – would mean “cellular evolution would not support all M2M applications”. In that case, non-cellular technologies in dedicated spectrum might be the answer – as is the case with proposed TV Whitespace standard Weightless.

The difference between demand profiles of mass consumer and enterprise data, including video content and the sort of quick-fire demands of sensors and other M2M communications has exercised other research minds too.

You can read a TMN article on alternative radio technologies for M2M here.

Since that article was published UK start up Senaptic, led by ex-Ubiquisys founder Will Franks, also recently grabbed some attention for its narrowband tech approach.

And you can read the thoughts of head of wireless research at Bell Labs here.

Do you think wireless support for the IoT will operate on non-cellular (ie non-5G) technologies, or is the point of 5G to design a network that can support multiple use cases?