First “remote SIM” provission, unveiled by GSMA

The GSMA released last week an specification that allows consumers to remotely activate the SIM embedded in a device such as a smart watch, fitness band or tablet.

This new specification will enable consumers to add a new generation of devices to a mobile subscription and connect them securely to a mobile network.

The initiative does not aim to replace all SIM cards in the field, but is instead designed to help users connect multiple devices through the same subscription and will help mobile device manufacturers to develop a new range of smaller, lighter mobile-connected devices that are better suited for wearable technology applications.

The specification, the first output from the GSMA’s industry-backed Consumer Remote SIM Provisioning initiative, is backed by the world’s largest operators including AT&T, CK Hutchison, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, EE, KDDI, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, Rogers, SFR, Sprint, Telefónica, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Telstra, TIM, Transatel, Verizon and Vodafone. It is also supported by SIM and chipset vendors including Gemalto, Giesecke & Devrient, Morpho (Safran), Oasis Smart SIM, Oberthur Technologies, Qualcomm, STMicroelectronics, and Valid, as well as device makers including Apple, Huawei, LG, Microsoft, Samsung and Sony. Telecom equipment provider Nokia and security provider Trustonic also support the specification.

The GSMA will release an additional specification in June 2016 that will include remote provisioning for any mobile device.

“This is the only interoperable and global specification that has the backing of the mobile industry and lets consumers with a mobile subscription remotely connect their devices to a mobile network,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “This new specification gives consumers the freedom to remotely connect devices, such as wearables,  to a mobile network of their choice and continues to evolve the process of connecting new and innovative devices.”

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