Jasper Wireless-based operator group promotes "white SIMs" for M2M market

The cellular machine-to-machine (M2M) market is steadily moving away from fixed SIM subscriptions toward so-called “white SIMs” capable of over-the-air downloading of new subscriptions.

05/09/2013


IMS Research (acquired by IHS, Inc.)The cellular machine-to-machine (M2M) market is steadily moving away from fixed SIM subscriptions toward so-called “white SIMs” capable of over-the-air downloading of new subscriptions. At last year’s 2012 Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, multiple SIM manufacturers introduced SIM subscription management platforms. As this year’s Mobile World Congress show opens, an industry alliance of eight mobile network operators that use the Jasper Wireless “Control Center” M2M connection platform have announced that they will support white SIM functionality in conjunction with Giesecke & Devrient’s SmartTrust AirOn SIM subscription management platform.

The eight alliance members (Etisalat, KPN, NTT DOCOMO, Rogers Communications, SingTel, Telefonica, Telstra, and VimpelCom) stress their openness to extending their alliance to operators that do not use Jasper Wireless’ platform. However, IHS believes that Jasper Wireless has played a key role in enabling the white SIM announcement, not only through the common management framework of the Control Center connection platform, but also by offering account management services between two or more operators in transferring subscriptions. It’s important to note that earlier this month (February 2013) Ericsson announced a similar offering for operators through the use of Gemalto’s SIM subscription management platform in conjunction with Ericsson’s own Device Connection Platform.

White SIMs are distinct from the concept of “soft SIMs” in that they retain use of an embedded hardware component, as opposed to being completely comprised of embedded software. This is a key point, owing to the operators’ concerns over the level of security that could be ensured by SIMs reliant on software alone, without an embedded hardware component. G&D’s AirOn platform, as well as other SIM subscription management platforms, is currently based on proprietary technology, but the GSMA is coordinating a standardization effort for white SIMs that IHS believes will lead to a white SIM standard by the end of 2013.

Reprogrammable white SIMs will play a key role in facilitating the use of embedded SIMs in the M2M market. The embedded SIM form factor itself has been crucial for M2M market development, given its robustness and manufacturability. White SIMs provide a number of other key benefits to the cellular M2M market, including:

  • Supply-chain optimization for embedded SIMs used in single, global SKUs.
  • Cost-optimization through tariff localization of globally-deployed SIMs.
  • Easier compliance with local regulatory prohibitions against the use of foreign SIMs.
  • In-country coverage optimization through utilization of the strongest local network signal.

However, the ability to download new subscriptions also poses a challenge for operators in the M2M market in that part of the business case for low ARPU (average revenue per unit) rests on long deployment time frames and little or no churn. If customers can change operators easily then this potentially could weaken the business case. It increasingly appears, however, that operators are making a calculated decision that the opportunity to grow the M2M market by optimizing the customer experience around global deployability, as outlined above, will outweigh the risk posed by customers switching subscriptions.

From a competitive standpoint, the eight operators in the alliance are positioning themselves for the increasing globalization of the M2M market against both large operators (e.g. Vodafone) and alternative M2M alliances (e.g. Deutsche Telekom, Orange Business Services, and TeliaSonera). Currently, Vodafone offers an extensive global footprint both through its direct operations in 30 countries in addition to 44 other countries in which Vodafone has formal partnerships with local operators in place. AT&T announced in December 2012 that it was using G&D’s AirOn platform to offer local in-country tariffs globally. To underscore the growing importance of providing a global footprint, IHS believes that Telefonica won GM OnStar’s business in Europe and Latin America largely on the strength of its ability to offer a single platform with access to a wide range of countries, especially in Latin America, in which OnStar wishes to expand its service. White SIMs will help operators to meet this growing demand for global deployability in the M2M market.



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn more about methods used to ensure that the integration between the safety system and the process control...
Adding industrial toughness and reliability to Ethernet eGuide
Technological advances like multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) transmitting and receiving
Virtualization advice: 4 ways splitting servers can help manufacturing; Efficient motion controls; Fill the brain drain; Learn from the HART Plant of the Year
Two sides to process safety: Combining human and technical factors in your program; Preparing HMI graphics for migrations; Mechatronics and safety; Engineers' Choice Awards
Detecting security breaches: Forensic invenstigations depend on knowing your networks inside and out; Wireless workers; Opening robotic control; Product exclusive: Robust encoders
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
News and comments from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration.
Integrator Guide

Integrator Guide

Search the online Automation Integrator Guide
 

Create New Listing

Visit the System Integrators page to view past winners of Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award and learn how to enter the competition. You will also find more information on system integrators and Control System Integrators Association.

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.