NEC's new tech to allow devices to devices communication to reach out to public network in no-network zones

The technology being used as a disaster relief mechanism in Tokyo can set-up M2M relay stations by connecting devices and turning them into transmitters and achieve connectivity anywhere

New technology can enable people to send images without the mainstream network access and without the internet reach. The new machine to machine (M2M) technology, processed by NEC, can not only connect the devices stuck in the no network area but also help them communicate.  


This technology has been deployed by Tokyo government to give proper access in disaster or unfortunate incidents hit areas. The government is enabling their policemen and other emergency response personnel to transmit high quality images from the scene of a disaster or accident when outside of the service area of the public safety Long Term Evolution (Public Safety LTE: PS-LTE) network.


These images can be transmitted by enabling terminals outside of the PS-LTE network service area to detect terminals within the service area and then access the network via the terminal that provides the fastest communication with base stations.


Simply put, the device A which is not getting trough to reach the base station can connect to device B, C and n number of other devices, use them as transmitters and hence connect via the best possible singles available. This, multiple transmitters or relay stations can also take signals (pictures) from one transmitter (say B) to which is further connected to another machine (say Device L) and hence make the message reach the base station.


In LTE networks, if a terminal falls outside of its service area, other terminals may act as relay stations between the isolated terminal and connected base stations. However, when selecting a relay terminal it has conventionally been difficult to detect the communication route (relay link) that enables the highest quality images.

"By utilizing this technology, images from large-scale disasters and major accidents can be transmitted via a high-speed LTE network, even when outside of the public safety LTE service area. This makes it possible to obtain accurate information from the scene and to implement a swift response," said Yuichi Nakamura, General Manager, System Platform Research Laboratories, NEC Corporation.

This technology was developed using the Relay Link Throughput Estimation Method, which estimates communication throughput based on the quality of wireless communications, taking into account the differences in the resources available for wireless communications as well as modulation/coding schemes, and then integrates the relay link. With this technology, the communications speed from an isolated terminal cooperating with a relay terminal to connect to a base station can fully be estimated, and the "total communication speed" can be more accurately assessed.


The relay terminal estimates the upstream speed, and the terminal outside the service area estimates the speed of communications between the terminals. Based on this result, the throughput of the relay link (total communication speed from the terminal to the base station) is calculated, and a relay terminal capable of generating the highest speed is selected.

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