Telecom regulator TRAI has sought industry views on regulatory framework, spectrum, and service quality related requirements for Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Communications — a new-age technology that is at the heart of concepts such as smart homes and smart cars, reported PTI.
According to some estimates, the number of connected devices in India is projected to touch about 275 million by 2020.
“Providing clarity and consistency of regulation for equivalent services, as well as policies that enable growth, will play a significant role in fully capturing its opportunity to stimulate this market,” TRAI said in a consultation paper issued today.
M2M communication can include a gas, electricity or water meter communicating information it records such as consumption level, or a vending machine alerting distributor when stocks run low, or transmission of data about personal appliances.
TRAI has sought the industry opinion on the framework for introduction of M2M service providers (MSPs) including those offering platform, applications, gateway and devices.
“In case a licensing framework for MSP is proposed, what should be the entry fee, Performance Bank Guarantee (if any) or Financial Bank Guarantee,” TRAI sought to know.
It also asked for views on whether existing licences of telecom operators and internet service providers should be amended to bring MSPs under their fold, or should be it kept under the category of ‘other service providers’ that also includes call centres.
Other issues include the quantum of spectrum required to meet M2M communication needs over 10-15 years, and spectrum bands suitable for the new technology.
TRAI wants written comments on the issue by November 15.
It also asked whether or not national roaming for M2M and IoT (Internet of Things) devices should be free.
IoT, is a term used interchangably with M2M, and in the coming decade millions of such devices are expected to be deployed in electric meters, parking meters, thermostats, car components and roads amongst others.
TRAI has also asked for stakeholder views on international roaming policy for M2M machines.
“International automobile manufacturers are already manufacturing automobiles with embedded SIMs which are capable of communicating with various entities like automobile maintenance services to remotely and dynamically monitor the performance of the machine…There should be a policy framework in place to facilitate seamless operation of such machines when imported to Indian ecosystem,” it said.
Other issues include security of networks and data in M2M communication, as also data privacy issues.