The GSM Association, an industry body that represents mobile telephone service operators, has issued guidelines to define how Internet of Things (IoT) devices and applications should connect to a mobile network to give the best chance of avoiding service outages.
Some observers have said the rapid deployment of IoT networks piggy-backing off cellular wireless networks and landline telephone networks could swamp them and reduce their usefulness for human users. These observers have advocated the use of networks and protocols dedicated to IoT applications, which are often characterized by small payloads but large numbers of messages.
However, the set up of dedicated networks, adds cost and many applications will prefer to use the already amortized cellular networks and wireless LANs.
The GSMA has now published a report entitled IoT Device Connection Efficiency Guidelines that has the backing of mobile operators including AT&T, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, NTT Docomo, Tata Teleservices Ltd., Telefonica, Telenor Connexion and VimpelCom.
The report covers a number of best practice areas including: data aggregation within devices, non-synchronous network access, application stability and guidance on how to manage signalling traffic from de-activated or out-of-subscription SIMs. The tone of the document is that developers should follow these practises to give the best chance for IoT to scale across multiple commercial sectors – automotive, transportation, utilities and health – without placing an unsustainable burden on cellular networks.
"It is imperative that the IoT market develops with the right standards and best practices in place, reducing undue pressure on mobile networks across the world and allowing the Internet of Things to grow unimpeded," said Alex Sinclair, CTO of the GSMA, in a statement. "The GSMA has worked closely with its operator members to develop connection efficiency guidelines that ensure that IoT device and application makers can follow a common approach to create efficient, reliable services that can scale as the market grows and we encourage all parties to adopt these moving forward."
The guidelines are intended to support IoT device and application developers and ensure that mobile networks can accommodate the increased number of connected devices and services resulting from the rapid growth of machine-to-machine M2M communications.
GSMA said the total number of mobile connections is expected to reach 7.4 billion in 2014 and rise to 10 billion by 2020.
The GSMA is setting up a project to develop acceptance tests for IoT devices and applications so that network operators can know that guidelines have been followed. The project will establish a single, standard set of connection efficiency tests for IoT devices and applications, enabling players across the industry to develop and deploy IoT services with confidence.
To download the ‘IoT Device Connection Efficiency Guidelines’ please go to: http://www.gsma.com/connectedliving/gsma-iot-device-connection-efficiency-guidelines/
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