GSMA-Led Task Force Defines Market Requirements for a Standardised Embedded SIM

By Gsma, PRNE
Sunday, February 13, 2011

Task force to submit analysis to ETSI, paving the way for an open industry standard that will drive connectivity in a range of devices

BARCELONA, Spain, February 14, 2011 - The GSMA, along with a group of leading mobile operators, today announced
it has finalised the market requirements for the development of a
standardised embedded SIM. The task force, formed recently to explore the
development of a new SIM solution that can be remotely activated and used in
a number of different devices, will submit the results of its analysis to
ETSI, the telecommunication standards body, by the end of February 2011. This
will pave the way for the delivery of an embedded SIM standard worldwide,
reducing fragmentation and driving scale for 'connected' devices across
various industries including automotive, consumer electronics, healthcare and

"The SIM has been at the heart of the mobile industry, helping to make
the GSM family of technologies the most secure, ubiquitous and successful
communications system in the world," said Alex Sinclair, chief technology
officer at the GSMA. "By creating a standardised embedded SIM, we will drive
global momentum for new, innovative and cost-effective connected devices that
will enhance everyday lives. This is important because industry fragmentation
can greatly hinder the advancement of mobile technology to the detriment of
our industry and users all over the world."

The embedded SIM is based on a set of requirements that will allow the
remote management of operator credentials on a SIM card. This means that SIMs
in embedded devices, which in most cases can't be removed, can be securely
updated with operator credentials up to and even after the point of sale, and
will also allow the secure re-provisioning of alternative operators during
its lifespan. The embedded SIM will be used in addition to existing SIMs
rather than replace them, and traditional SIM-supported devices will continue
to work on operator networks. The embedded SIM will also be based on already
standardised SIM form factors and will remain as a 'physical entity', with
the enhanced security that a physical implementation provides.

Besides the standardisation work within ETSI, efforts will continue by
the task force to ensure that the embedded SIM will provide the essential
trust and security relationships necessary to protect the data provided by
all parties in the value chain.

In addition to driving momentum for a range of new and exciting connected
devices, the embedded SIM will also encourage the development of new
machine-to-machine (M2M) services by making it easier to bring mobile
broadband connectivity to non-traditional devices such as cameras, music
players, e-readers, in-car systems, health monitors and smart meters. Devices
featuring the new SIM activation capability are expected to appear in 2012.

About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications
industry. Spanning 219 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world's
mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile
ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers,
Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA is
focused on innovating, incubating and creating new opportunities for its
membership, all with the end goal of driving the growth of the mobile
communications industry.

For more information, please visit Mobile World Live, the new online
portal for the mobile communications industry, at or the GSMA corporate website at

Ben Evetts, +44-7879-614941, bevetts at, or press at

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