The GSMA, along with a group of leading mobile operators, today announced it has finalised the market requirements for the development of a standardised embedded SIM. The task force, formed recently to explore the development of a new SIM solution that can be remotely activated and used in a number of different devices, will submit the results of its analysis to ETSI, the telecommunication standards body, by the end of February 2011. This will pave the way for the delivery of an embedded SIM standard worldwide, reducing fragmentation and driving scale for ‘connected’ devices across various industries including automotive, consumer electronics, healthcare and utilities.
“The SIM has been at the heart of the mobile industry, helping to make the GSM family of technologies the most secure, ubiquitous and successful communications system in the world,” said Alex Sinclair, chief technology officer at the GSMA. “By creating a standardised embedded SIM, we will drive global momentum for new, innovative and cost-effective connected devices that will enhance everyday lives. This is important because industry fragmentation can greatly hinder the advancement of mobile technology to the detriment of our industry and users all over the world.”
The embedded SIM is based on a set of requirements that will allow the remote management of operator credentials on a SIM card. This means that SIMs in embedded devices, which in most cases can’t be removed, can be securely updated with operator credentials up to and even after the point of sale, and will also allow the secure re-provisioning of alternative operators during its lifespan. The embedded SIM will be used in addition to existing SIMs rather than replace them, and traditional SIM-supported devices will continue to work on operator networks. The embedded SIM will also be based on already standardised SIM form factors and will remain as a ‘physical entity’, with the enhanced security that a physical implementation provides.
Besides the standardisation work within ETSI, efforts will continue by the task force to ensure that the embedded SIM will provide the essential trust and security relationships necessary to protect the data provided by all parties in the value chain.
In addition to driving momentum for a range of new and exciting connected devices, the embedded SIM will also encourage the development of new machine-to-machine (M2M) services by making it easier to bring mobile broadband connectivity to non-traditional devices such as cameras, music players, e-readers, in-car systems, health monitors and smart meters. Devices featuring the new SIM activation capability are expected to appear in 2012.
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry. Spanning 219 countries and territories, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA is focused on innovating, incubating and creating new opportunities for its membership, all with the end goal of driving the growth of the mobile communications industry.