How recent IIoT developments are shaping 5G wireless

Addressing the issues behind Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices to help with mobile industrial computing applications.

By Daniel Browning, DO Supply Inc. November 8, 2018

The standards for 5G will be defined in large part by the direct integration of Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial IoT (IIoT) devices into global networks and devices. Researchers seeking to impact 5G technologies are focused on how to properly introduce this new species of computing into the mobile networking ecosystem.

Popular focus on the development of smart manufacturing technologies like cyber-physical systems (CPSs) reveals the energy behind the movement to create wireless standards that conform to the needs of IIoT devices. Cyber-physical developments, which are impacted by wireless connectivity, are an example of a system that will be enhanced by 5G standards and technology.

Some of the main challenges these researchers face are related to what defines the internet and makes it so useful and successful: openness, connectivity, and flexibility. Another challenge includes setups in remote locations that require low-energy wireless networking protocols.

The following are examples of how researchers are addressing these problems facing IIoT technology, covering how they are enabling strong security in open networks, energy efficient caching, and the accuracy and reliability of portable medical devices.

A software-defined network with attribute-based encryption

Transmission control protocol/internet protocol (TCP/IP)-based network infrastructures do not afford security standards appropriate for smart grid technologies, such as those in the medical and energy fields. As a result, researchers from the Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology have created a secure networking scheme to address this problem.

Designed around the concept of software-defined networking (SDN), the researchers proposed a communication model specialized for IIoT technologies by enabling efficient packet forwarding using cuckoo filtering. The researchers also outlined an attribute-based encryption scheme enabled by a peer entity authentication protocol, Kerberos, which uses third-party authentication.

According to the researchers, the proposed scheme provides better security compared to existing strategies without sacrificing performance.

Energy-efficient caching

Researchers in China and Portugal collaborated to create a strategy to reduce the energy consumption during network data transfer by creating and optimizing a specialized caching strategy. Led by Peng Duan of Chongqing University, the researchers devised a system that divides cache space in a base station into two parts.

“One is used to store the prefetched data from the servers ahead of the device request time and the other is reserved to store the temporarily buffering data in the wireless transmission queue at the device request time,” the researchers explained in a paper.

The team proposed an algorithm for optimally dividing the cache space into these two parts, allowing for a more efficient data transfer while guaranteeing quality of service.

Smartphone-powered biosensing dongle

A researcher from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China developed a prototype for a portable dongle that measures blood glucose and uric acid levels.

The creator of the device, Jinhong Guo, created it to be powered by the user’s smartphone, which is used to share the measured bioinformatics with the user’s doctor for health-monitoring purposes.

According to Guo, the device is comparable in accuracy and reliability to the current standard for devices that do this kind of health monitoring. The device’s main attraction is its portability compared to the current standard, which involves using bulky machines reserved for clinical use only.

While IIoT technologies can be applied to many fields, there are various limitations that previous networking protocols do not sufficiently address. Several applications present unique needs regarding security, energy efficiency, portability, and others.

These developments are just a few examples of how IIoT technologies are influencing the design of the next generation of mobile communication protocols and the possibilities these standards are creating.

Daniel Browning is the business development coordinator at DO Supply Inc. In his spare time, he writes about automation, artificial intelligence, technology, and the IIoT. Edited by Emily Guenther, associate content manager, Control Engineering, CFE Media,


KEYWORDS: Internet of Things (IoT), cyber-physical systems (CPSs)

  • Developments in IIoT technologies for applications
  • Unique needs for various applications and IIoT devices.

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