The Indian government has been taking steps to strengthen the M2M ecosystem and facilitate wider proliferation and innovation in the sector.
The Indian government has identified machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and the Internet of Things (IoT) among the fastest emerging technologies across the globe, providing enormous beneficial opportunities for the society, industry, and consumers. It is being used to create smart infrastructure in various verticals such as power, automotive, safety and surveillance, remote health management, agriculture, smart homes, Industry 4.0, and smart cities, to name a few, using connected devices. M2M communication is going to play a major role and will contribute significantly towards the government initiatives ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’.
In order to strengthen the M2M ecosystem and to facilitate wider proliferation and innovation in the sector, the government has taken the following actions recently:
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.
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, 1MHz additional spectrum is added in the earlier unlicensed 865-867MHz band, making it 865-868MHz. Also, radiated power, channel bandwidth, and duty cycle have been defined for different use cases.
In addition, the Department of Telecommunication had taken the following actions in the M2M/IoT domain in the past to facilitate the burgeoning M2M industry:
Features of the SIMs used only for M2M communication services have been defined and related KYC instructions for issuing M2M SIMs to entity/organization 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 ecosystem in the country.
Important parameters for a large-size M2M network, are scalability, interoperability and efficiency. To support such deployments, the government has adopted international standards set by OneM2M alliance and Release 2 standards were adopted in January 2020 as national standards through TEC, the technical wing of DoT.
TEC had also released recommendations on IoT/ M2M security in January 2019 and Code of Practice for securing consumer IoT in August 2021. Both these documents suggest ways to have safe and secure IoT deployments.
The above regulatory enablement for M2M services are expected to reduce cost, enhance the productivity, provide faster response time, optimize the resource consumption, and increase the revenues for businesses, leading to ease of living for the common citizens.