Today, mobile data communication is used in two rather different environments: machine to machine (M2M) and consumer devices. M2M is the communication of two machines without any human interaction. Consumers obviously show a different behavior than machines and have specific requirements. That’s why the GSMA has created two different sets of eUICC standards.
The Two GSMA Specifications
In 2014, the GSMA (supported by many leading operators, two major M2M alliances, and a large number of equipment manufacturers) finalized the GSMA Embedded SIM Specification that regulates the remote SIM provisioning for M2M. The key idea of this attempt was to agree on a single, common, and global approach to speed up growth in the M2M market. The latest GSMA specification delivers a standardized subscription management architecture that guarantees profile interoperability: a basic prerequisite allowing all ecosystem players to work on common ground.
In January 2016, the GSMA released the first version of a specification that allows consumers to activate the SIM embedded in a device such as a smart watch, fitness band, or tablet from a remote location. With the SGP.21 RSP Architecture 1.0 and the SGP.22 Technical Specification 1.0, the GSMA delivered the first important building block that can be used for implementation in simpler products. In June 2016, a second version of this specification has been released introducing an extended feature set. The next step is creating a test specification that is expected to be released in spring 2017. COMPRION is part of the Test Expert Team (TET) drafting this document.
The characteristic of M2M communication is that no user interaction is required. The profile management activities are pushed exclusively by the MNO or service provider.
GSMA eUICC architecture in M2M environment
To allow remote access to an M2M eUICC, the GSMA has specified several key entities:
Users of consumer devices like smartphones or wearables want to choose their carrier. Hence, they want to decide, which profiles should be available and activated on the eUICC.
GSMA eUICC architecture in consumer device environment
This requires the following individual roles and entities within the consumer device environment:
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