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Machine-type wireless communications and applications

Individual course

Max amount of FITech students: 40

Machine-type wireless communication (MTC) comprises the set of connectivity solutions that enable the Internet of Things (IoT). MTC is a paradigm change in designing mobile communications networks focusing on machine-centric rather than human-centric applications. For instance, MTC offers seamless connectivity to thousands of devices under strict requirements and extreme cases requiring ultra-reliable, low-latency communication. MTC takes two-thirds of 5G, and in the next generation, 6G, its share will be even more significant. Therefore, to be best prepared for future careers, you must understand what the IoT (and its industrial variant) is, what MTC is, how fundamental MTC is for the IoT, and the most recent connectivity technologies available. This course aims to critically provide you with such background to best prepare for the marked ahead.

Course contents

  • Historical facts of the introduction of MTC into cellular network
  • Evolution throughout the development of 5G, beyond 5G and the development towards 6G.
  • Evolution of the service classes under mMTC, key use-cases, scenarios, and performance indicators.
  • Overview of the state of the art for mMTC, traffic patterns and communication models, information and communication theoretic models, solutions for massive random access, joint activity and user detection, massive cell-free/distributed MIMO for mMTC, network slicing, (non) orthogonal multiple access, machine learning for mMTC, PHY/MAC security in mMTC, and low power wide area networks.
  • Evolution of the service class toward scalable, broadband and extreme cMTC (URLLC), key scenarios, use-cases and performance indicators, information and communication theoretical limits, advanced modulation and coding, advanced PHY technologies, (non) orthogonal access, (non) orthogonal slicing and traffic coexistence, massive (cell free/distributed) MIMO, cross layer optimization, machine learning for cMTC, positioning-aided cMTC, security for cMTC, time synchronization and time sensitive networking.
  • Future perspectives and research roadmap towards 6G.

Learning outcomes

Machine-type wireless communications (MTC) emerged with 5G introducing two new service modes: massive MTC and critical MTC (also known as URLLC); besides a paradigm change the design of mobile communications networks that transitions from human-centric towards machine centric applications. MTC is at the core the (industrial) IoT revolution offering seamless connectivity to thousands of devices (as in mMTC) or to devices with strict latency, reliability and rate constraints (as in cMTC). As we are moving towards the next generation, 6G, these two modes evolve to address the needs of the market, industry and society. Therefore, upon completing the required coursework, the student will acquire an extensive overview of the state of the art of the recent progress in MTC contextualized with selected applications in IoT and industrial IoT.

Course material

Parts from books/white paper

  • 6G Flagship, White paper on critical and massive machine type communication towards 6G,
  • 6G Flagship, White paper on machine learning in 6G wireless communication networks,
  • Dahlman, Erik, Stefan Parkvall, and Johan Sköld. 5G NR: The Next Generation Wireless Access Technology. 1st edition. London: Academic Press, 2018.
  • T. Marzetta et al Fundamentals of massive MIMO, Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017
  • Liyanage, Madhusanka, Ijaz Ahmad, Ahmed Bux Abro, Andrei Gurtov, and Mika Ylianttila. Comprehensive Guide to 5G Security. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2018.

Lecture notes and other recent literature.

Teaching schedule

Lectures, homework/exercises, a seminar. No exam.

Completion methods

Homework/exercises (25%), seminar (75%)

More information in the University of Oulu study guide.

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Responsible teacher

University of Oulu
Hirley Alves

Further information about the course and studying

University of Oulu
Matti Isohookana

Contact person for applications

FITech Network University
Monica Sandberg, Student services specialist
Start here
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ICT Studies
5G technology,
Industrial internet
Course code:
0 €
Teaching period:
Application deadline:
Host university:
University of Oulu
Study is open for:
Adult learner,
Degree student
Teaching methods:
Place of contact learning:
General prerequisites:
First-year master level knowledge or comparable to Wireless Communications Engineering.
Study suitable for:
Adult learners who have previous studies or work experience in communications. Second-year master's students or comparable in electrical and communications engineering as well as computer science and engineering.
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