ETSI develops standards for Machine to Machine communication

ETSI develops standards for Machine to Machine communications

The Machine to Machine (M2M) market offers astonishing opportunities as well as unique challenges. With over 3 billion mobile phone users across the world, the mobile telecoms industry can rightly be proud of its success. But this pales in significance next to the potential market of over 50 billion devices of all types to be connected, of which only 50 million are connected today. These devices vary from highly-mobile vehicles communicating in real-time, to immobile meter-reading appliances that send small amounts of data sporadically. Today’s telecoms networks have not been designed with these new types of ‘users’ in mind.

To address these issues, a new ETSI Technical Committee - TC M2M - has set to work to develop standards for Machine to Machine Communications.

ETSI’s TC M2M has held its first meeting on the 26th and 27th of January 2009, at the ETSI headquarters in the Sophia Antipolis science park near Nice, in the south of France. Delegates representing organizations from Europe, the US, Japan and South Korea came together to plan ETSI’s activities in this fast-growing field. A broad industry representation included experts from telecoms network operators, equipment vendors, administrations, research bodies, and of course M2M specialist companies.

The creation of this committee follows a 3-month strategic review of the demand for M2M standardization by the Board of ETSI, and a successful workshop in June 2008 attended by over 100 M2M specialists from ETSI members.

Under the guidance of their chairperson, Mrs. Marylin Arndt, from FT-Orange, TC M2M aims at providing an end-to-end view of Machine to Machine standardization needs. Many disjointed component-level standards have already been developed, addressing various radio interfaces, different meshed or routed networking choices, or offering a choice of identity schemes. Each is optimised for a particular application scenario. No attempt has been made so far to bring all these pieces together, nor to identify the existing standardization gaps.

ETSI’s broad representation from global telecoms and ICT industries will enable it to have a broad overview of M2M. ETSI’s spirit of collaboration and its numerous partnership agreements will enable it to co-operate with partner standards bodies and industry fora, re-using their existing work rather than re-creating it. Its extensive experience of interoperability and trials will enable it to provide not only the architecture-level standards required, but also the test specifications needed to demonstrate end-to-end interoperability.

Mrs. Marylin Arndt, FT-Orange, Chair of ETSI TC M2M: "The Technical Committee provides an excellent environment that will allow ETSI to develop standards to support M2M services and promote innovation across the industry. As chairman of this committee, I am looking forward to developing the future standards for the "Internet of Things", thereby allowing objects to communicate between themselves and to be connected on the Web."

Dr. Walter Weigel, ETSI Director-General: “ETSI’s global membership base, consensus based approach and direct participation model means we are uniquely placed to undertake this work. ETSI has again demonstrated that we can move rapidly in response to our members’ business needs.”

Source: ETSI Press Release