GMA bursts boundaries on the Internet of Things

Developing M2M solutions works best when they leave neither the provider’s network nor its country during application. If they need to leave either or if the solution ought to be easily deployed for the world market, that’s when it gets more complicated for M2M and IoT solution providers as well as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The Global M2M Association aims to change that with a new offering.

Buying a car these days is about more than horsepower or miles per gallon. Cars are increasingly developing into mobile infotainment centers. In addition more and more carmakers are collecting vehicle data in order to offer improved service models to their customers. Both infotainment and vehicle data are transmitted via integrated M2M modules.


But how do you ensure that streaming of video or audio content via 4G-connectivity is technically working and commercially viable? With the classical M2M roaming approach, mainly developed for small amounts of diagnostic data in a B2B business model, this is hardly feasible. One network operator alone can hardly provide a solution to these customer requirements. Fitting out every car with different SIM cards would be too expensive and complex for a car manufacturer. But using only one SIM card raises another problem: Carmakers need to ensure that a car for the Spanish market gets a Spanish SIM card as well. Up to now, this was a complex, time consuming and expensive challenge for them. That is why network providers have joined forces to enhance global M2M services.


Net coverage in 33 countries


Six leading international network operators – Deutsche Telekom, Orange, TeliaSonera, Telecom Italia Mobile, Bell Canada, and Softbank – cooperate in the Global M2M Association (GMA), for example. Between them they cover 33 countries in Europe (coverage of GMA in that very fragmented market is about 97%), the Americas, and Asia.


In spite of existing roaming agreements, implementing and managing international M2M and IoT solutions has so far proven rather difficult. Identifying the cause of faults and rectifying them, for example, is expensive and time-consuming. A service unveiled by the GMA at the Mobile World Congress 2015 is designed to remedy this state of affairs. The nucleus of the new offering is the integration of the Multi-Domestic Service platform provided by Ericsson and a eSIM subscription management solution by Gemalto. M2M and IoT solution providers as well as OEMs can thereby customize their products easily to suit the world market’s needs.


One platform for all network operators


The platform serves as the interface between the local GMA network operators on one hand and M2M and IoT solution providers as well as OEMs on the other hand:




As with most network providers’ platforms, solution providers can, for instance, manage on the platform the SIM cards that they use or run their fault management processes on it. On the MDS platform provided by Ericsson, however, companies can use these functions across countries and networks. In fragmented markets such as Europe, where there are both different network operators and many different technologies in use, the platform helps lower the barriers to the development of international solutions. TeliaSonera, Orange, and Bell Canada have already launched it. The other GMA members will follow suit step by step.


SIM card adjusts its life cycle


Along with the Multi-Domestic Service offering the GMA partners are adopting GSMA-compliant embedded SIM cards (eUICC) and a Gemalto subscription management platform. The advantage is that the eUICC supports remote profile management. Carmakers can easily adopt and automatize the life cycle of the SIM Card to that of the networked product – from production via deployment by the driver to decommissioning of the vehicle. The new offering also enables customers to localize SIM cards and transfer them virtually to a GMA partner’s local network.


That also makes new billing models possible. Instead of roaming the GMA can provide SIM cards with a local business profile for use within network operators’ own footprints. This makes the solution more favorable than roaming. Companies can in this way develop location-independent M2M solutions for the global market compliant with local laws and regulations and that that users can nearly utilize on the basis of local conditions.


The benefits of the new GMA solutions are likely to be of interest mainly for the automobile industry. With eCall (Emergency Call) integration soon to become mandatory for cars that are built in the EU, carmakers have a window of opportunity in which to implement additional applications, and with the GMA’s Multi-Domestic Service offering they are well equipped to do so. So in the near future cars with rearseat-entertainment systems that keep the children quiet during the ride will no longer be with high priced limousines but affordable in every car.

Tags: IOT , MDS , Multi Domestic Service , global m2m association , gma , Internet of Things , Machine-to-Machine , M2M , Alliances

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