The GSMA says several major mobile network operators and SIM manufacturers have launched solutions that comply with its Embedded SIM specification for remote ‘over the air’ provisioning of machine-to-machine (M2M) devices.
Unlike conventional SIM cards, these embedded cards can be reprogrammed remotely to work with different network operators.
AT&T, Etisalat, NTT DOCOMO, Telefónica and Vodafone Group are all involved, along with manufacturing partners including Gemalto, Giesecke & Devrient, Morpho (Safran), Oberthur Technologies, Sierra Wireless and Telit.
A new report from Beecham Research shows how the adoption and deployment of the GSMA Embedded SIM Specification could accelerate the growth of the embedded M2M market by up to 34% by 2020, generating annual connectivity revenue of approximately $8.9 billion for network operators.
With the GSMA standard, the embedded M2M SIM connection market is forecast to hit 639 million connections globally by 2020 - yet this figure would be approximately 478 million if proprietary standards persist. Beecham Research expects the automotive sector to be at the forefront of this growth, with up to 252 million connected cars on the road by 2020.
Alex Sinclair, the GSMA’s Chief Technology Officer, said “Our vision has always been to unite all stakeholders behind a single, common and global specification that will help accelerate the growing M2M market. It has also been our intention for the GSMA Embedded SIM specification to become the de facto industry standard. Industry-wide adoption sets us on the path for the long-term growth and development of the industry and we welcome the news that the M2M community is ready to do business using the specification.”
[GSMA Embedded SIM background; Beecham Research report (pdf)]