M2M eSIM Management with SM-DP+
For as long as the RSP Consumer specification (Remote SIM Provisioning) has been created by GSMA there have been discussions if and how to merge this standard with the M2M specification that was created earlier for a different set of needs and requirements. The practical advantages of such a merger are easy to see but finding a common approach has so far been elusive.
However, with eSIM being implemented in ever more consumer devices and MNOs pushing forward to enable their customers to make use of eSIM, the central component of the architecture, the SM-DP+, is well positioned to play a significant role for M2M as well.
A defining difference between the consumer and the M2M architecture is where and how eSIM management operations are controlled.
Naturally smartphone users want to have full control over the device and its connectivity and expect it not be possible for a back-end system to make any changes without their consent. On the other hand the ability to make changes controlled by the back-end remains a mandatory requirement for M2M as part of an automated device connectivity management that must work without any human intervention for efficiency and scalability.
This operational control is expressed in two specific components: the LPA (Local Profile Assistant) on Consumer devices and the SM-SR (Secure Routing) in the M2M solution. So how would it be possible to apply eSIM management procedures as standardised for Consumer devices to IoT devices?
One potential scenario is the split of the LPA into an IoT device part and a back-end part. This back-end component would be playing a role similar to that of today's M2M SM-SR.
This approach allows profile management operations to be performed in push mode from this back-end component. Another advantage is that the support of lightweight IoT protocols could be enabled by splitting the protocol stack between device and back-end without any changes to existing SM-DP+ systems.
Although it's not clear if or when such a solution for M2M might be standardised, building device and system prototypes early offers major benefits to players in the IoT market. It's quite possible that both standards will remain in place and a number of competing solutions may exist for IoT, targeting different device and use case requirements.
With our off-the-shelf SM-DP+ product, extensive knowledge of all components in the GSMA M2M and consumer architecture and proven experience in design of complex, state-of-the-art software solutions, we are in a good position to fast track your prototyping or Proof-of-Concept project.