HONG KONG — The GSMA today announced the formation of a task force of mobile operators to explore the development of an embedded SIM that can be remotely activated. The move is expected to enable the design of exciting new form factors for mobile communications. It will also speed the development of M2M services by making it easier to bring mobile broadband to non-traditional devices such as cameras, MP3 players, navigation devices and e-Readers, as well as smart meters.
“The traditional SIM has been an important innovation in mobile telephony, and has provided many benefits to consumers in terms of security, portability of contacts, and ease of portability of devices across networks,” said Rob Conway, CEO and Member of the Board of the GSMA. “As our industry moves from connecting phones to connecting a wide range of devices, it is apparent that the embedded SIM could deliver even greater flexibility. The embedded SIM will provide assured levels of security and portability for consumers, as well as provide additional functionality for enabling new services such as e-Wallet and NFC applications.”
The GSMA-led task force comprises a group of leading technical experts drawn from operators including AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom Orange, KT, NTT DOCOMO, SK Telecom, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone. The group will work in cooperation with major SIM producers.
The task force will analyse market requirements and deliver a technical solution as an evolution of the current SIM provisioning mechanisms. The proposed embedded SIM solution will include programmable SIM card capabilities to enable remote activation.
The group is expected to complete the analysis of market requirements by January 2011. The resulting technical solution will be built on the principles of openness and standardisation. Devices featuring the new SIM activation capability are expected to appear in 2012. Traditional SIM-supported devices will continue to work on existing networks.
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry. Spanning 219 countries, 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.