BARCELONA, Spain--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The GSMA has today announced that it is working with mobile network operators, mobile device manufacturers and SIM vendors to create a common and global specification for the remote over-the-air provisioning and management of connectivity to consumer devices. The industry-wide initiative will allow consumers to activate the SIM embedded in a device such as a smartphone, tablet or wearable with the mobile network operator of their choice. A common approach and consistent user experience will also help to grow the market by allowing consumer device manufacturers to build products that support global deployment.
“Currently there is no agreed industry solution for how consumers can remotely connect devices to a mobile network,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “This announcement demonstrates that the industry is unified in working to create a common and interoperable specification that will reduce market fragmentation and maintain the experience of connecting devices in the future.”
The GSMA Consumer Remote SIM Provisioning initiative is leading and coordinating industry activities with a number of complementary “proofs of concept”, which together are contributing to the development of an end-to-end remote SIM solution. These have been designed to help shape the best technical specification for the mobile industry as well as for consumers. Participants will host a number of demonstrations at Mobile World Congress 2015 that will showcase the convenience and opportunity provided by remotely connecting new consumer mobile devices.
Results are expected in Q3 2015 with the delivery of a common specification for the remote provisioning of consumer devices anticipated by 2016.
Industry Support for Consumer Remote SIM Provisioning initiative
The GSMA Consumer Remote SIM Provisioning initiative has received strong industry support from mobile operators including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Whampoa, KDDI, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, Ooredoo, Telefónica, TeliaSonera, Telstra, Turkcell and Vodafone.
“AT&T has been innovating in this area for years with our current global solution called AT&T global SIM, making wireless connectivity for consumers and businesses simple, seamless and highly secure," said Chris Penrose, Senior Vice President, Internet of Things Solutions, AT&T. "We look forward to continuing to work with the GSMA Consumer Remote SIM Provisioning initiative and carriers around the world to make it even easier for our customers to mobilise their world.”
“What we want to achieve with eSIM is simplicity and convenience for our end customers,” said Thorsten Müller, SVP Core Telco Products at Deutsche Telekom. “Adding a device to my personal data plan will become as simple as scanning a barcode.”
“SIM provisioning online or remote becomes a reality and we see the advantages, particularly in lowering the cost of distribution. In some jurisdictions, however, we expect security obligations, such as biometric identification, to slow down its introduction significantly, a challenge that the mobile industry has to overcome,” said Ahmad Julfar, CEO, Etisalat Group.
“Embedded SIM is a promising solution that brings delightful consumer experiences to our customers as well as ever-increasing roamers,” said Yasuhide Yamamoto, Vice President, Product Sector at KDDI. “KDDI is working to establish a globally unique, interoperable ecosystem with the GSMA and partner operators to enable greater convenience for our customers.”
“DOCOMO has already been offering remote provisioning for M2M solutions. In order to enhance usability of consumer devices, we look forward to working together in this GSMA initiative,” said Seizo Onoe, CTO, NTT DOCOMO, Inc.
“Ooredoo is striving to offer an enhanced, consistent customer experience across its footprint, and we are fully committed to this industry-wide effort to support an agreed approach to remote provisioning by wireless devices. This shared effort will enable customers to benefit from the full potential of mobile technology including mobile identity, M2M and mCommerce,” said Dr. Nasser Marafih, Group CEO, Ooredoo.
“Orange is committed to develop with the GSMA an open embedded SIM solution accessible to all the industry that would offer a convenient and simple user experience for customers in any circumstances as the existing SIM,” commented Mari-Noelle Jego-Laveissière, EVP Innovation at Orange. “This solution should also ensure a high secure environment to protect customers’ privacy.”
“Remote SIM is a natural evolution in our industry. Making the right choices now in terms of technology, usability and user experience will ensure our consumers a successful transition without compromising the quality of service that they expect from the mobile network operators,” said Francisco Montalvo, Group Devices Unit Director, Telefónica Group.
“As TeliaSonera sees clear benefits for our customers with an embedded SIM we are fully engaged with the GSMA in developing a joint standard. It is important that we work together to offer an increased customer convenience, consistent across the globe,” said Mats Svärdh, Vice President Networks and IT Infrastructure at TeliaSonera.
“Telstra is committed to working with the GSMA and industry to develop a single, open SIM standard that will allow our customers to connect a wide range of future devices to their account in a simple, safe and secure manner,” said Warwick Bray, Group Managing Director, Telstra Retail.
“Having pioneered embedded SIMs with Sony’s PSP Vita and the Amazon Kindle, Vodafone is fully engaged in developing a single joint standard. Embedded SIMs can give consumers new ways to connect to Vodafone’s fast and reliable networks. It is important that the telecoms industry works together to offer a consistent customer experience across the globe,” said Patrick Chomet, Group Terminals Director, Vodafone Group.
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with more than 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai and the Mobile 360 Series conferences.
For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com. Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.