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Remote SIM Provisioning for Machine to Machine

What is the GSMA Embedded SIM Specification?

The GSMA’s Embedded SIM Specification provides a single, de-facto standard mechanism for the remote provisioning and management of machine to machine (M2M) connections, allowing the “over the air” provisioning of an initial operator subscription, and the subsequent change of subscription from one operator to another. GSMA Embedded SIM is a vital enabler for Machine to Machine (M2M) connections including the simple and seamless mobile connection of all types of connected machines. In the M2M market the SIM may not easily be changed via physical access to the device or may be used in an environment that requires a soldered connection, thus there is a need for ‘over the air’ provisioning of the SIM with the same level of security as achieved today with traditional removable SIM. GSMA Embedded SIM can also be used with removable M2M SIMs given the many benefits of removable to users and operators in a number of different ways – for example, the familiarity of the form factor, an established ecosystem and proven security model.

M2M offers a huge market opportunity

Mobile networks are being used to connect all sorts of devices; automated reading of utility meters, intelligent connectivity of cars and commercial vehicles to enable drivers to access navigation, infotainment or breakdown services, traffic lights, home security and assisted living. The number of mobile connected devices is expected to be 10.5 billion by 2020, resulting in a huge new market opportunity, predominantly in the machine to machine (M2M) and consumer electronics sectors. All parties in the M2M ecosystem will struggle if we remain solely dependent upon the traditional SIM card, which is predicated on only associating with one network operator.

This is because changing SIM cards is problematical for many business-to-business (B2B) customers. For the industry, optimising manufacturing process is a key challenge that GSMA Embedded SIM solves by providing a global product for a global manufacturing process with local provisioning when the product is deployed in the field. It also solves the challenge of managing those devices in the field when many M2M devices are remotely located, often hermetically sealed, their after sale location is not known during production and furthermore their product life cycles are lengthy. Many of the interfaces and processes needed to make the remote provisioning of SIMs work are virtually identical to current SIM personalisation processes and interfaces used by mobile operators today.

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