LONDON, Dec. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The GSMA today announced the publication of its specification to enable the remote 'over the air' provisioning and management of Embedded SIMs in machine-to-machine (M2M) devices. The specification, which has the backing of the world's leading mobile operators and SIM suppliers, will help to ensure interoperable technical solutions and further accelerate the rapidly growing M2M market. First deployments of the GSMA-compliant Embedded SIM solution are expected to roll out in 2014.
"The number of mobile connected devices is expected to reach 11 billion by 2020, growth that will be led predominantly by advances in the M2M market," said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. "This level of growth will be heavily dependent on the adoption of a common, global and interoperable SIM provisioning and management architecture that enables the M2M market to flourish. The specification released today will have a significant impact on the M2M marketplace, as it will help provide lower operational costs and drive economies of scale."
The use of traditional SIMs - which require insertion and replacement - in M2M devices for transportation, utility metering or other applications can present challenges, as M2M devices are often remotely located and hermetically sealed. A specific non-removable SIM is embedded into the M2M device at the point of manufacture and can later be remotely provisioned with the subscription profile of the operator providing the connectivity, which can be subsequently changed or modified over the air. This eliminates the need to intervene to replace SIM cards over the lifetime of each M2M product, reducing ongoing operational and logistical costs.
The Embedded SIM specification allows mobile network operators to provide scalable, reliable and secure connectivity for M2M connected devices. Further, the industry-standard Embedded SIM eliminates the need for each operator to develop their own technical solution for the remote provisioning of their SIMs and also facilitates operator switching if required at the end of a contract.
The Embedded SIM project has the backing of operators and SIM products and solutions partners from across the globe, including AT&T, China Mobile, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Gemalto, Giesecke & Devrient, Morpho (Safran), NTT DOCOMO, Oberthur Technologies, Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telenor and Vodafone.
For more information on the GSMA's Embedded SIM project visit http://www.gsma.com/connectedliving/embedded-sim/
"This is an important step in ushering in a new era for M2M technology and as the global leader in providing M2M solutions we are pleased to have worked closely with the GSMA and industry partners to deliver a specification that works in the industry's best interests," said Cameron Coursey, vice president of Product Development and Operations, AT&T Emerging Devices.
"Without a globally recognized, standardised and harmonised connectivity solution the automotive industry will become unnecessarily complex and fragmented. As a car manufacturer an Embedded SIM that can be remotely provisioned is absolutely key for us in driving efficiency and simplicity and is to be welcomed. We thank the GSMA and partners for agreeing this specification," commented Marcus Keith, Project Management Audi connect.
"The embedded SIM specification is the result of close collaboration between MNOs and major innovative industry players in the M2M sector. By defining an interoperable technical framework covering remote subscription management, the industry has marked another element for a strong start for large scale deployments of Machine-to-Machine applications," said Norbert Muhrer, Senior Vice President of M2M, Gemalto.
GIESECKE & DEVRIENT
"The OTA provisioning and management of Embedded SIMs is the biggest revolution for the SIM since its invention for mobile phones. Working together we have created the secure and flexible technology to connect up billions of M2M devices and enable the Internet of Things," said Carsten Ahrens, Group Senior Vice President, Division Server Software and Services Division 3S at Giesecke & Devrient.
"The growth of the M2M market is a major evolution in the telecoms industry. It requires a flexible solution for managing secure access to networks over the long term. Morpho is pleased to contribute to initiatives supporting the development of new telecommunications businesses," said Yves Portalier, Senior Vice President Telecoms, Morpho, e-Documents Division.
"A unified solution for Embedded SIMs is critical to meet the needs for global M2M applications. This specification, which was developed through cross-industry efforts, will boost the adoption of Embedded SIMs in all regions, including Asia," commented Koichi Takahara, Managing Director of NTT DOCOMO's M2M Business Department.
"The creation of a single, global Embedded SIM specification is welcomed by operators, security products and solutions providers and business partners alike, as it enables the activation of globally distributed devices anytime, anywhere. Therefore, it will create a stronger global M2M ecosystem," said Christian Lefebvre, Managing Director Telecom Product Line at Oberthur Technologies.
"Vodafone remains convinced that a prerequisite for Embedded SIM applications is interoperable standards. We very much welcome the release of such standards for the M2M arena, which will help to accelerate innovative solutions developed with our partners," commented Stephen Packer, Head of Platforms and Enablers, Vodafone Group Terminals.
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world's mobile operators with 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media, transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.
For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com. Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.