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Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications over cellular networks pose significant challenges as a result of the large number of devices, small data transmissions, and vast applications range. Current solutions based on general packet radio service (GPRS) access proved to be inadequate for supporting the M2M ecosystem. Therefore, advanced cellular network releases, such as long-term evolution (LTE) and LTE-Advanced (LTE-A), should efficiently cater to M2M communications. However, the increase in signaling overhead and diverse quality-of-service (QoS) requirements calls for the development of novel flexible scheduling algorithms. In this article, we present the challenges in facilitating M2M scheduling over existing and future cellular infrastructures, review the related proposals, provide some initial solutions, and identify new perspectives, which pave the way for efficient and smooth migration to M2M-enabled broadband cellular systems.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2012