IoT Security

The mobile telecommunications industry has a long history of providing secure products and services to its customers. Security has been vital to building and maintaining consumer confidence in mobile services to date and it will be as critical to the success of IoT services.
Ensuring end-to-end security and privacy of data for IoT connected devices is a key to success for this market. Industry players need to build trust and take measures to protect the integrity of customers and network communications, as well as respond to emerging requirements in a prompt, comprehensive and collaborative manner.
The mobile industry promotes an industry-led approach to security and has developed a number of tools that can help achieve this.
Find out more on what are the four security challenges and the GSMA guidelines for security and other useful initiatives that the GSMA has put in place to promote secure IoT connections.

Select a region

Show Global

Africa and Middle East

IoT  is still at a nascent stage in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). IoT connection are expected to be just under 700 million by 2021 with 76 million being cellular IoT. (Machina Research 2016). The IoT market is mainly driven by the involvement of a number of Gulf countries’ governments in smart city plans, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE. Smart city programmes play a central role in their economic development strategies Operators in the gulf region have offered IoT connected services since 2011 and have been involved in a number of vertical markets such as energy management, fleet vehicle tracking and smart city applications. Turkey is another developed market, with operators partnering across major vertical segments, such as fleet vehicle tracking and POS-terminals and planning to be involved in a number of smart city applications roll-outs.

Asia Pacific

Asia Pacific (APAC) represent the single largest market for IoT services with an expected 7 billion connection by 2021, out of which roughly half a billion will be powered by cellular connections (Machina Research 2016). The region is home to many organisations active in IoT, from the Shenzhen manufacturing base, to consumer electronics companies like Samsung and heavy industrial organisations, like Hitachi Construction Machinery. No other region has a similarly wide and diverse set of organisations involved in IoT. Inevitably, the size of the potential market and local activity are also attracting international organisations to focus IoT initiatives in the region Government interest in IoT is higher in APAC than anywhere else in the world. In Japan, Korea, China, India, Malaysia and Singapore governments have promoted national IoT strategies. National IoT policy plans are a key tool for governments to develop long term strategy to: Promote a long-term strategy and policy agenda setting Favour the co-ordination across different government departments Promote an open regional industry-led  approach to IoT policy Find out more about APAC IoT national plans and a lot more in this section.


Europe is set to be one of the most important markets for IoT with an expected 4.3 Billion connections active by 2021, out of which 420 million are expected to be served by cellular networks (Machina Research 2016). The positive impact of the IoT will be significant. PWC estimates that mHealth could save 99 billion EUR in healthcare costs in the European Union (EU) and add 93 billion EUR to the EU GDP in 2017 if its adoption is encouraged. EU policy makers and regulatory bodies such as BEREC have looked into IoT and positively recognise the fundamental differences between IoT and traditional telecoms. They also recognise the tremendous opportunities that IoT represents, and have thus embraced open policies to promote IoT.


In this section find all resources that take on a global perspective. These resources deal with general IoT policy and regulatory matters which are not specific to one region only, but apply worldwide.

Latin America

In Latin America, IoT is still at a nascent stage. However, the market is set to grow rapidly over the next years, reaching the 1 Billion mark by 2021 (Machina Research 2016). Cellular IoT is estimated to serve 80 million connection by then. The main IoT applications in Latin America are the payment, automotive and utilities industries. Brazil leads in terms of the adoption of cellular M2M in the Point-of-Sale (PoS) terminals, but PoS is also an important vertical in a range of other countries in the region, such as Colombia and Chile. The automotive sector will be the major growth driver, with applications such as vehicle tracking, fleet management as well as Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) embedded solutions continuing to increase in deployment terms. The utilities sector also has huge potential to embrace M2M centred solutions, however, operators in Latin America underscore that the adoption of smart metering depends on the readiness and willingness of utility companies to make investments into reducing non-technical losses, primarily from energy theft and fraud.

North America

North America has seen significant growth in the number of IoT connections over recent years. This is set to continue dramatically over the next five year to almost 4 Billion connections, with an expected 270,000 being cellular IoT (Machina Research 2016). The United States is one of the largest and most advanced M2M markets in the world. Here, IoT solutions and services are widely used in many different sectors of the economy. In the automotive industry, the US was one of the first countries in the world to deploy connected cars. Connected car services were first launched here in 1996 and since then has progressed. Nowadays several automakers are equip mid-range and premium vehicles with connected services. Major US mobile operators have long offered far more than connectivity, developing sophisticated platforms, supporting a range of business models,  promoting data analytics and diversifying in various verticals such as automotive, home security and telemedicine to fully realise the opportunities

GSMA Announces Internet of Things Programme Over the last year, mobile technology’s role in the Internet of Things has grown considerably. Network operators, with their long history of connecting new solution and experie...

Read more | See all Industry News

Interview: How Nokia Nurtures the Internet of Things How Nokia Nurtures the Internet of Things Jean-Christophe Coiffier explains how Nokia’s Device IoT Excellence Centers support partners, developers and innovators   Jean-Ch...

Read more | See all Industry News

Interview: Now for Something Completely Different The Vodafone Group R&D Director explains why the Mobile Internet of Things is about to expand dramatically   Luke Ibbetson, Vodafone Group R&D Director, Chair of GS...

Read more | See all Industry News

Connected Street Lighting: the next Milestone for Smart Cities Neill Young, Vertical Innovation Lead, GSMA Smart cities are now rapidly coming to life. As urban planners look to the possibilities of the IoT to improve city infrastructure, th...

Read more | See all Industry News

LPWA: Streamlining Waste Collection (Use Case) Veolia harnesses the Mobile IoT to cut the number of truck journeys made to empty bins   As cities expand and the urban population grows, municipalities need to collect more...

Read more | See all Industry News

LPWA: Simplifying the Smart Home (Use Case) Hisense is exploring how the Mobile IoT can give consumers remote control over their appliances   At Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona, multinational white goods and e...

Read more | See all Industry News

Digital Societies Policy Forum and GSMA Capacity Building Course May 08, 2017 With support from the Australian Government and other partners, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the GSMA are pleased to host the 3rd Asia-Pacific D...

Read more | See all Internet of Things Events

Smart to Future Cities May 17, 2017 The GSMA Internet of Things programme’s  Vertical Innovation Lead, Neill Young and IoT Security Lead, Ian Smith, will be speaking at the Smart to Future Cities &...

Read more | See all Internet of Things Events

GSMA Mobile 360 Series – Privacy & Security May 23, 2017     IoT Security Masterclass: Establishing a Flexible Framework to Address Market Diversity Wednesday, 24 May, 11:15 – 12:00 Red Room, Hilton Hotel Fro...

Read more | See all Internet of Things Events

Mobile World Congress Shanghai June 28, 2017 The Internet of Things will be central to Mobile World Congress Shanghai  – Asia’s biggest mobile event. Bringing together the global mobile industry’s ...

Read more | See all Internet of Things Events

GSMA Connected Vehicle Summit June 30, 2017 Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC), W3, Auditorium B   The increasing consumer demand for car connectivity and intelligence has been a key driver of th...

Read more | See all Internet of Things Events