The GSMA released a new specification that would 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 major mobile operators and SIM suppliers, is designed to help develop interoperable technical solutions and further stimulate M2M market growth.
First deployments of the GSMA-compliant embedded SIM solutions 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,” GSMA CTO Alex Sinclair said. “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 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 SIMs 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.