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Security and Communication Networks
Volume 2017, Article ID 1701243, 21 pages
Research Article

Hierarchical Group Based Mutual Authentication and Key Agreement for Machine Type Communication in LTE and Future 5G Networks

1National Institute of Technology Meghalaya, Shillong, Meghalaya, India
2Indian Institute of Management, Shillong, Meghalaya, India

Correspondence should be addressed to Probidita Roychoudhury; moc.liamg@nakuhp.atidiborp

Received 26 July 2016; Revised 1 October 2016; Accepted 12 October 2016; Published 19 January 2017

Academic Editor: Muhammad Khurram Khan

Copyright © 2017 Probidita Roychoudhury et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In view of the exponential growth in the volume of wireless data communication among heterogeneous devices ranging from smart phones to tiny sensors across a wide range of applications, 3GPP LTE-A has standardized Machine Type Communication (MTC) which allows communication between entities without any human intervention. The future 5G cellular networks also envisage massive deployment of MTC Devices (MTCDs) which will increase the total number of connected devices hundredfold. This poses a huge challenge to the traditional cellular system processes, especially the traditional Mutual Authentication and Key Agreement (AKA) mechanism currently used in LTE systems, as the signaling load caused by the increasingly large number of devices may have an adverse effect on the regular Human to Human (H2H) traffic. A solution in the literature has been the use of group based architecture which, while addressing the authentication traffic, has their share of issues. This paper introduces Hierarchical Group based Mutual Authentication and Key Agreement (HGMAKA) protocol to address those issues and also enables the small cell heterogeneous architecture in line with 5G networks to support MTC services. The aggregate Message Authentication Code based approach has been shown to be lightweight and significantly efficient in terms of resource usage compared to the existing protocols, while being robust to authentication message failures, and scalable to heterogeneous network architectures.