Government of India has identified that M2M/ Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the fastest emerging technologies across the globe, providing enormous beneficial opportunities for society, industry, and consumers. It is being used to create smart infrastructure in various verticals such as Power, Automotive, Safety & Surveillance, Remote Health Management, Agriculture, Smart Homes, Industry 4.0, Smart Cities, etc. using connected devices. Machine to Machine communication is going to play a major role and will contribute significantly towards the government of India initiative of Digital India and Make in India.
In order to strengthen the M2M eco-system and to facilitate wider proliferation and innovation in the sector, the following actions have been taken recently:
- Guidelines for registration of M2MSP Service Providers and WPAN/WLAN Connectivity Providers have been issued on 8th Feb. ‘22. Applicants need to register themselves to provide SIM and WPAN/WLAN based M2M Communication. This will help in addressing concerns like connectivity with TSPs, KYC, traceability and encryption. Registration shall be carried out at field offices of DoT spread across the country.
- New license for UL(M2M) and UL-VNO(M2M) under UL and UL-VNO licenses have been introduced and accordingly the guideline for UL and UL (VNO) were amended on 17th Jan. ‘22. Though the existing Access Service Providers were already enabled to provide connectivity to the M2M/IoT networks, through the new licenses, an independent category of Service providers has been enabled to create, operate and provide Network for Interconnection of M2M/IoT devices. In this license, applicants can apply for different categories like Category A (For PAN India), Category B (Service Area) and Category C (SSA/District area).
- To have additional availability of spectrum for M2M/IoT applications, 1 (one) MHz additional spectrum is added in the earlier unlicensed 865-867 MHz band, making it 865-868 MHz. Also radiated power, channel bandwidth and duty cycle have been defined for different use cases.
In addition, Department of Telecommunication had taken the following actions in M2M/IoT domain in the past to facilitate the burgeoning M2M industry:
a) Released 13-digit numbering plan exclusively for M2M/IoT devices connected through Mobile networks.
- Features of the SIMs used only for M2M Communication Services have been defined and related KYC instructions for issuing M2M SIMs to entity/organisation providing M2M Communication under bulk category have also been issued.
- DoT has also permitted use of embedded SIMs by allowing Telecom Service Providers to configure them Over The Air (OTA). This has enabled availability of sufficient numbering resources and led to a robust framework for mobile M2M eco-system in the country.
- Important parameters for a large-size M2M network, are scalability, inter-operability and efficiency. To support such deployments, Government has adopted international standards set by OneM2M alliance and Release 2 standards were adopted in January ‘20 as national standards through TEC, the technical wing of DoT.
- TEC had also released recommendations on IoT/ M2M security in Jan. ’19 and Code of practise for securing consumer IoT in Aug ‘21. Both these documents suggest ways to have safe and secure IoT deployments.
Above regulatory enablement for M2M Services shall reduce cost, enhance the productivity, provide faster response time, optimise the resource consumption and will increase revenue for the businesses leading to ease of living for the common citizens.