The GSMA announced this month that it is forming a task force of mobile operators to explore the development of an embedded SIM that can be remotely activated.
The move is expected to enable the design of new form factors for mobile communications. It will also speed the development of M2M services by making it easier to bring mobile broadband to non-traditional devices, such as camera, MP3 players, navigation devices and e-Readers, as well as smart meters, the e-Wallet and near field communication applications.
The GSMA has lined up technical experts from a number of operators including AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom Orange, KT, NTT DOCOMO, SK Telecom, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone. The operators will work with major SIM manufacturers on the initiative.
The task force will analyse market requirements and deliver a technical solution as an evolution of the current SIM provisioning mechanisms. The proposed embedded SIM solution will include programmable SIM card capabilities to enable remote activation.
The analysis is due for completion by January 2011. The technical solution will be built on principles of openness and standardisation. Devices featuring the new SIM activation capability are expected to appear in 2012.