Ericsson, GMA to showcase 'Multi-Domestic Service' M2M platform at MWC

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and the Global M2M Association (GMA) will showcase their "revolutionary" new Multi-Domestic Service at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015. 

The GMA calls it one of the most innovative M2M connectivity management services on the market, enabling global deployment and management of M2M and Internet of Things (IoT) services, mainly in the automotive and consumer electronics sectors.

The GMA represents the cooperation of six international Tier 1 operators--Deutsche Telekom, Orange, TeliaSonera, Telecom Italia Mobile, Bell Canada and SoftBank--in the machine-to-machine (M2M) market. The Multi-Domestic Service solution already has been implemented by Orange, TeliaSonera and Bell Canada.

Analysts say it's important, especially for certain multinational enterprises, to have an IoT solution that works across geographies. It isn't practical, for example, for an auto maker to have to retrofit cars with different SIMs in every country.

The GMA's Multi-Domestic Services solves the issue by delivering a single consolidated M2M management platform, which is provided by Ericsson. The operators that have already have rolled it out leverage GSMA-compliant embedded SIM cards (eUICC) and a subscription management platform provided by Gemalto.

The GMA says the Multi-Domestic Service platform provides real-time connectivity management so that enterprises can manage, monitor, troubleshoot and support their connected devices operated globally from a single source. The GMA lists several benefits for customers, including simplicity and future-proofness.

"The Internet of Things presents a number of challenges for enterprises as they seek to offer a global experience while providing local flexibility on pricing for connectivity. This is exactly the type of initiative that we believe will simplify the process of connecting devices around the world to the benefit of both enterprises and end-users, ultimately supporting the rapid growth rates that we anticipate in the IoT market," said Matt Hatton, founder and CEO at Machina Research, in a press release.

It might be just what the industry needs, but it's taken a while to get this far. The GSMA began work on its embedded SIM initiative in 2010 with the goal of having commercial products on the market by 2012. That didn't happen.

Last year, AT&T (NYSE: T) announced that it was the first carrier whose single SIM solution met the new GSMA specifications for the use of multiple operator profiles on a single SIM. Its Global SIM is geared for IoT companies that need to connect devices, machines or cars with a single platform around the world.

M2M market analysts at Beecham Research predict almost 1 billion cellular M2M connections worldwide by 2020. A new Beecham report looks at the rapid rise of M2M since 2013, when there were just 172 million cellular M2M connections worldwide, but also sounds a note of caution in the face of increasing hype around the future of M2M and the IoT.

"An average growth rate of nearly 30 percent per annum over the next few years represents both a very strong and exciting opportunity in a services market that is substantially business-to-business," said Robin Duke-Woolley, founder and CEO of Beecham Research, in a release. "Unfortunately there are some ludicrous, multi-billion connected device forecasts around at present for M2M and IoT that betray a complete lack of understanding about how the market really works. Much faster growth rates are just not realistic in this market because enterprises do not assimilate new technologies into their business processes that quickly."   
For more:
- see this Telecompaper article (sub. req.)
- see this press release
- and this release

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