India's DoT working on guidelines for M2M SIMs

India's Department of Telecom is drawing up 'Know Your Customers' guidelines to ensure the easy availability of mobile SIMs for M2M devices such as CCTV cameras and ACs to be deployed mainly in smart cities.

The guidelines would allow transfer of SIMs, among others. At present, norms bar transfer of SIMs, mandate strict subscriber verification and do not allow a person to own more than nine SIMs.

"After M2M roadmap, guidelines for M2M specific Know Your Customers  have been prepared and will be released shortly," Telecom Secretary J S Deepak said at the India M2M and IoT forum in New Delhi. The DoT is in discussion with Ministry of Home Affairs to finalise these guidelines.

DoT Deputy Director General (NT) Rajiv Sinha said these guidelines will be different from P2P communications. "There will [be a] provision to allow SIM transfers because devices will change hands. There will be provision of no tele-verification, most important is there will be some communication allowed. Some SMS, data, and voice but on a pre-defined number," Sinha said.

The SIMs that will be issued for M2M services will be in bulk. The rules will be applicable on SIMs purchased in bulk. The new guidelines are required to facilitate development of smart cities which will have devices with sensors that will communicate using SIMs or Internet connection.

Deepak said that government organisation Telecom Engineering Centre and autonomous body Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India (TSDSI), are working actively to foster the development of an IoT ecosystem which facilitates not only M2M communication standard but looks at encryption, privacy, security angle from Indian perspective.

He said that DoT has will soon have a virtual network operator licence - the third licence which seeks to separate network operations from delivery of services.

"Such a VNO licence would help system integrators to get in to agreement with telecom operators for providing M2M services. Various initiatives are under way to make M2M ecosystem throbbing ecosystem where anyone contribute and provide us leadership in this space," Deepak said.

As per experts, the M2M segment is expected to fuel growth in telecom sector at more rapid pace compared to sale of SIM for just mobile communication.

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