1. An apparatus configured to be employed in an evolved NodeB (eNB) comprising:one or more processors configured to:
designate a first plurality of physical resource blocks (PRBs) as a non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA) zone and a second plurality of PRBs as an orthogonal multiple access (OMA) zone to enable multiplexing user equipments (UEs) for uplink transmissions;
schedule a first UE of the UEs to generate the uplink transmissions among the first plurality of PRBs within the NOMA zone without an explicit grant message based on a first transmission packet size or a first transmission rate;
enable the first UE to transmit data without the explicit grant message by using the first plurality of PRBs as long as the first transmission packet size of the data, or the first transmission rate of the data is smaller than a predefined threshold;
signal the predefined threshold to the first UE via explicit signaling and as an Internet of Things (IoT) threshold associated with an IoT standard for the first transmission packet size or the first transmission rate; and
schedule the first UE to generate a different transmission in the OMA zone with an explicit grant message by using the second plurality of PRBs based on the first transmission packet size or the first transmission rate reaching or exceeding the IoT threshold; and
a radio frequency (RF) interface, coupled to the one or more processors, configured to receive or transmit transmission data with an RF circuitry.