After weeks of speculation, the Indian Government’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has released its National Telecom M2M Roadmap. The document acts as a reference document for M2M ecosystem partners to realise the policy goals of Make in India and Digital India, largely by focusing on Interoperable standards, policies and regulations to suit Indian conditions across multiple sectors. An apex body has been proposed for coordination and to take care of such requirements.
GSMA Guidelines at the heart of M2M consideration
Throughout the Roadmap, both the GSMA’s Connection Efficiency Guidelines and Embedded SIM Specification are recognised as potential solutions to the country’s need for M2M standards and regulations, and as means to overcome market fragmentation.
For example, the report notes that GSMA’s Embedded SIM will help evolve the future of M2M and also help in meeting Know Your Customer (KYC) norms.
The Roadmap also identifies the GSMA’s IoT Connection Efficiency Guidelines as a leading global m2m policy initiative that will help device and application developers to expand the number of devices connecting to mobile networks, whilst preventing service outages and ensuring optimal performance that will ultimately enable the market.
The document also notes that the Guidelines have already been backed telecom operators AT&T, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, KT Corp, Orange, NTT DOCOMO, Tata Teleservices, Telefonica, Telenor Connexion and VimpelCom, as well as vendors and ecosystem partners, including Sierra Wireless and Jasper.
An Industry level Consultative Committee has been constituted by the DoT to outline draft policy taking into consideration the industry view. The following issues and actionable points were identified for consideration towards M2M Policy:
- To bring Standards for M2M in line with global standards
- Allocation of Spectrum for M2M local area network Layer
- Revisit National Numbering Plan to accommodate the needs of M2M
- To ensure the “Always on” requirements viz. Inter-Operator Roaming and Inter-Network Mobility
- Address Privacy and Data Protection
- Address KYC and customer traceability issues.
- Address Security and Lawful Interception for M2M
- To have policy around Customers ethical Issues
- Close coordination with relevant global organizations
The TEC (Telecommunication Engineering Centre), the technical arm of the DoT, has started working on India Specific M2M standards in line with evolving global standards. Five Working Groups are formed to begin with in this regards as under:
- M2M Gateway & Architecture
- Working group to cover M2M security is being formed.
Indian M2M market to grow rapidly
Of all the governments across the globe, the Indian Government is perhaps the most ambitious with its M2M and IoT targets. In June 2014, the Indian Government made an even more ambitious pledge to develop 100 smart cities, beginning with a $1.2bn investment over the following twelve months.
The Indian M2M market is set to grow rapidly in the next few years, according to research house, Machina Research, the overall value of the Indian M2M market will increase from €5.18bn in 2015, to €16.81bn in 2020.