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The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things


The Internet of ThingsIn this article, we look closely at the new internet revolution qualified as «Internet of Things ». We will give in this article the results of a survey of 220 students Moroccans on the state of understanding of the Internet of Things with students. It will also address key issues and solutions coexistence between IPv4 and IPv6 for the transition to IPv6, and new architectures to meet the requirements of the Internet of Things. We end our article with an illustrative example of the improvements that the Internet of things can bring to our everyday lives. 

The Internet protocol version 4 « IPv4″ described in RFC 791 (September 1981) has known a major success that overcome the optimistic forecasts made at the time of its conception, in 1973, the main purpose of the Internet was to establish end-to-end communication between two hosts based on the constraints of the availability of bandwidth and the permanent network connection, however, today, IPv4 is slowed down by majors limitations such as the exhaustion of the IPv4 public address space managed by the Internet Assigned Number Authority (, as fact, this limitation has caused an interesting challenges when adding new objects or new services on the Internet. Without public IP addresses, the capacity of Internet is reduced. Originally, the internet was designed to connect a limited number of machines, then, many categories of users joined the Internet network, thus, the way the Internet is used knew fundamentals changes, starting by the creation of new services including: web page viewing, email exchange, streaming video, VoIP, file transfers, then, the emergence of the social web based on sharing digital content such as videos, images and document.  The exponential growth has pushed the research towards new innovations, in 1993, emergency measures were taken such as the use of network address translation (NAT / PAT), virtual-hosting and proxy, this allowed to delay the decline for a few years, engineers and researchers working in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) took advantage of this period to design a new version of Internet Protocol named IPv6 protocol (RFC 2460 published in December 1998), with new features and an unlimited address space. The major challenge of the Internet today is: to connect billions of people in real time, but also billions of objects, this new Internet revolution called “Internet of Things”  present an extension of the internet to the physical world, where every connected object has its own identity and computing capabilities and sophisticated communication tools, while having limited resources especially in terms of power, so the main question is: How the internet of things will impact the Internet protocols? Is it the opportunity to follow a classical path in the internet evolution by the transition to IPv6 in order to meet the forecast of 50 billion connected objects  by 2020, according to a study done by the Internet Society ”ISOC”?, or it’s time to fundamentally reassess the purpose, functionality and reliability of existing networks and offer new architectures with new protocols?  



To start with, the Internet of Things is new transformation of the Internet where objects are able to observe and communicate with the physical world, which introduces new challenges mainly related to the types of channels used for communication, connectivity interfaces, the way of identification and the heterogeneity of data, beyond observing, the connected objects must also be able to understand and analyze the information in order to interact with each other, and cooperate with other objects to create new applications or services, in other words, Philippe Gautier, co-author of “  Internet des objets – Internet mais en mieux  » defines the Internet of Things as the emergence of a new dimension to our physical world where objects interact and generate exponential quantities of data.

On the other hand, it is necessary to notice that the cellular network has become the first access point to the internet for many mobile devices, however, this network is based on an addressing and transport architecture derived from switching technology, then from routing technology based on the IPv4.


In fact, according to a study by Cisco, published in the 3th February 2016,  « Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2015-2016, » the Global mobile data traffic has increased by 74% in 2015 compared to 2014, while the capacity of mobile networks has increased by 20% in 2015 compared to 2014, these result reflect that in the next few years, the telecom operators and service providers will be facing more complicated challenges especially with the emergence of the Internet of Things, thus, the transition to IPv6 seems to be a good point to start with.

In fact, IPv6 provides more flexibility in managing addresses and traffic security using 128 bit to present IPv6 address, also simplifying the message header and format is a major improvement compared to IPv4, to explain more,  a message, commonly called packet or datagram, is composed of two parts: header and content (payload), in the version 4, the message header has a fixed size (20 bytes but the variable length of optional fields add more traffic), whereas in version 6, the header is split into two parts: a fixed (40 bytes) and a variable, through its variable header, IPv6 provides enhanced support to all extensions or options that may be needed, in other words, for avoiding long and heavy message, a series of messages IPv4 fields have been optional in the extension headers in IPv6 and it depend on the transmitter to choose which extensions to include, which help in gaining the bandwidth, and provide better management of service quality.

With auto-configuration, nodes in IPv6 network can obtain a global address automatically, this method is based on the protocol Neighbor Dicovery, the protocol has recently been adapted for wireless sensor networks, combining the 6LoWPAN standard and the adaptation of Neighbor Discovery, the sensors can now obtain a global IPv6 address automatically, which is an important progress in introducing the Internet of things in large scale.

However, the transition to IPv6 require many conditions because of the number of organizations and entities involved in the Internet, as consequence, a long period of coexistence between IPv4 and IPv6 is expected, but the inconsistency between the two versions requires appropriate mechanisms to achieve the cohabitation and then the transition to IPv6, to resolve this issue several mechanisms exist to ensure the cohabitation between IPv6 and IPv4 that can be grouped into the following categories:

- Dual-Stack: the equipment (machines, servers, routers, objects ) have both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses and can handle both protocol stacks.

- Tunneling (tunnels) they enable systems with IPv6 to communicate using an IPv4 infrastructure, it consists of encapsulating IPv6 datagram within IPv4. Two types of tunnel exist, static tunnels like GRE and MCT, and dynamic tunnels like 6to4, Teredo and ISATAP.

- The translation protocols (NAT): Allows the equipment belonging to IPv4 or IPv6 native networks to communicate through a specific node among these mechanisms we find NAT-PT and NAT64.

- The 6PE / 6VPE solution: enable customers to communicate based on IPv6 while maintaining the backbone IP / MPLS in IPv4 also benefit from the MPLS features.

Each of the cohabitation IPv4 / IPv6 mechanisms listed above present many advantages and limitations as well, because the transition to IPv6 only still inefficient to meet the requirements of the Internet of Things, so, the design of new architectures for communication between connected devices and the routing of traffic generated by the data growth remains a critical need, and among many new solutions we will focus on the « Mobility First » architecture and the « Content-Centric Networking ».

« Mobility First » architecture is one dedicated solutions to meet the challenges of the Internet of things especially for networks in mobility, this solution is based on a set of concepts for the identification and communication between connected objects in mobility while ensuring secure access to different services available on the Internet.

In other words, MobilityFirst architecture is centered around two fundamental objectives: mobility and reliability, that are provided by a new layer of service based on the use of names instead of IPv4 or IPv6 address, this layer named « Name Based Service » serves as the key element in the protocol stack MobilityFirst architecture, the concept of globally unique identifiers « Global unique Identifier » (GUID) is used to identify a device such as a Smartphone, a car, a group of devices / people, content or even a context, the GUID are public keys assigned by certification service authority , the name based service layer uses the GUID for communication, invoked network services are defined by the source and destination GUID and the service identifier “SID” specifies the method of delivery such as unicast (default), multicasrs, or anycast.

For routing, a system based on the name / address is used for hybrid scalability, using a global name resolution service “GNRs” to dynamically link the GUID destination to a current set of network nodes.

The « MobilityFirst: A Robust and Trustworthy Mobility-Centric Architecture for the Future Internet » by Dipankar Raychaudhuri, Kiran Nagaraja, Arun Venkataramani, published in collaboration between the « Computer Science » department of the American University of Massachusetts and Rutgers University presents more technical details about this new architecture and the optimistic forecasts related to its deployment.

Another solution that meets the requirements of the introduction of the Internet of Things is: « Content-Centric Networking », Unlike IP networks, CCN focuses on the content by making it directly addressable and routable, CCN began as a research project at the Palo Alto research center (PARC) in 2007, the first version of the software (CCNx 0.1) was made available in 2009. The current version of the software is CCNx 0.8.2.

The goal of CCN is to provide a secure, flexible and scalable network, based on providing a model of access to content regardless of the establishment of communication between end nodes, it provides transparency by using names rather than IP addresses, in addition, the secure content resides in caches distributed at different nodes of the network, so the CCN deliver the content to the user via the nearest cache, across fewer network hops, avoiding redundant requests, and consuming fewer resources.

WiFi-Offload also presents a new solution that allows to route traffic of mobile data through new bridges without crossing the operators access network by using new bridges, allowing operators to meet the requirements of data growth without affecting the architecture of their 2G / 3G / 4G networks.


Source :

Furthermore, Internet of Things application’s are almost limitless, which will impact the way we live and work by saving time and resources, in fact, the Internet of Things has great potential : to support improvement in developing countries such as Morocco, to provide energy efficiency and enhance the security, the health and the transportation services, so Morocco has launched new challenges through the « NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR DEVELOPMENT OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH BY 2025″ published by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, where Morocco plans to reduce the gap between the society as it exists now and its aspirations in the scientific, technological and cultural fields, and like any new technology, its adaptation to the needs of the society is the first pillar for strengthening and orienting the researches.

So in order to have approximate statistics and evaluate the understanding of the Internet of Things by Moroccan student in the field of new technologies, we prepare and share a survey in order to have a first picture about how the internet of things is considered in our society:

- 73.2% of participants know about the internet of things via social networks, magazines and conferences.

- 80.9% of participants see it’s mandatory to create new way to access the internet in order to introduce the Internet of Things

- 80.5% of participants are aware about the improvements that the IoT can add to the health care field.

- 45% of participants think that even with smart objects the human intervention will always be needed.

- 70.5% of participants are optimistic about how IoT will help us to save time, reduce the use of natural resources and improve our life

- 21.8% of participants expect that with the emergence of the Internet of Things, we risk to restrict more our communication capabilities

- 55% of participants define the IoT as smart services, 45% define it as the machine-to-machine (M2M).

- Participants find that the Internet of Things is more useful in the following areas:

  • 64.8% Health

  • 45.1% Education

  • 65.6% Security

  • 48.4% Communication

  • 54.1% Transportation

  • 45.9% Environment

- 85.8% of participants are interested in using connected objects in the future.

By analyzing these responses, it appears that there is a good understanding of the definition and the benefits of the Internet of things, and with the right strategies to introduce the Internet of Things, the market for this new technology will have the power to participate in the evolution of the industry at the national and global level.

With the emergence of the IoT companies have a great potential to offer revolutionary services to their customers, Apple for instance has already sold 4.2 million smart watch in 2015, also, Microsoft recently launched Windows 10 for IoT to IT developers, and many initiatives for building « smart cities » are launched around the world, which aims to improve the quality of life through the protection of energy, the improvement of health and education services, as fact, a recent study by the Economist Intelligence Unit shows that the Internet of Things is the trend that will have the greatest impact by 2020, and according to forecasts, the sector will weigh 4 trillion $ in 2024.



Finally, imagine that it’s 7:00 am, you leave your bed to go to work, your bed sends a message to your coffee maker to prepare coffee while you brush your teeth, and a message is sent to your car to be prepared. During your day at work, imagine your connected objects: hard drives, bicycles, households and light bulbs identify their failures or detect that they are approaching their end of life, and send you a list on your mobile to pass bring the spare parts from the nearest supermarket, instead of just break down! Imagine that you can take care of your plants via your mobile, and you can reduce your electricity consumption with smart bulbs, imagine that it’s 05:00, your children are at the door of the house but they do not have the keys to get in, and with a simple message from your mobile you will be able to open the door for them, and drive home in comfort. In the future, these innovations will be part of our smart-life.


PhD student at the INPT « National Institute of Posts and Telecommunications, » supervised by Mr. NAJIB NAJA

Engineer in Telecommunications and Information Technology from the INPT 

IP Engineer at NOKIA


  • L’internet des objets : les principaux protocoles M2M et leur évolution vers IP de Olivier Hersent.

  • Vision et Stratégie de la Recherche Horizon 2025, Département de l’Enseignement Supérieur, de la Formation des Cadres et de la Rechercher Scientifique.

  • Content-Centric Networking in the Internet of Things de Otto Waltari, Univesité de HELSINKI.

  • MobilityFirst: A Robust and Trustworthy Mobility-Centric Architecture for the Future Interne, de Dipankar Raychaudhuri, Kiran Nagaraja, Arun Venkataramani.

  • Objets connectés : Enjeux et défis d’une révolution en marche, de Frédéric Forster.

  • Sécurité de l’Internet des Objets : vers une approche cognitive et systémique de Yacine Challal.

  • The Internet of Everything through IPv6: An Analysis of Challenges, Solutions and Opportunities, de « Antonio J. Jara, Antonio Skarmeta et Latif Ladid ».

  • Internet of Things from research and Innovation to Market deployment de Ovidiu Overmesan et Peter Friess.



Link to Survey:

Un commentaire

  1. Very good article Meryem.
    Congratulations for this work and good luck in your research studies


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