Performance of LTE uplink for IoT backhaul

Esa Piri, Jarno Pinola

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

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    The number of devices connected to the Internet is growing substantially as a result of increased realization of the Internet of Things (IoT) concept. As cellular networks can already be perceived almost as ubiquitous, they can potentially provide IoT systems access to the Internet regardless of their location. However, increased use of commercial cellular networks to provide connectivity for IoT systems would also change the traffic mix of these networks. It has been measured earlier that a large number of small packets are challenging for different wireless access networks to provide high performance. Currently, small packets are transmitted, for example, with Voice over IP (VoIP) services. Many IoT applications, being based on constrained sensor devices and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) type of communications, can increase the number of small packets significantly. In this paper, we measure the performance of Long Term Evolution (LTE) uplink as a backhaul for IoT networks. We experiment with differently sized packets in order to find optimal packet sizes that can result in maximum utilization of available resources in the LTE air interface. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper to thoroughly evaluate LTE uplink performance with different packet sizes based on empirical evidence. The results indicate that with very small packets the throughput performance is less than half from that obtained with large packets. As an application to exploit the achieved results, we propose IoT gateway solutions to perform packet aggregation at mobile edge to maximize resource utilization in the air interface.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationConsumer Communications & Networking Conference (CCNC), 2016 13th IEEE Annual
    PublisherIEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4673-9291-4, 978-1-4673-9292-1
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2016
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
    Event13th IEEE Annual Consumer Communications and Networking Conference - Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, United States
    Duration: 9 Jan 201612 Jan 2016
    Conference number: 13


    Conference13th IEEE Annual Consumer Communications and Networking Conference
    Abbreviated titleCCNC 2016
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityLas Vegas


    • logic gates
    • Internet
    • delays
    • uplink
    • performance evaluation
    • IP networks
    • long term evolution


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