The GSM Association (GSMA) has set out guidelines around the design and build of embedded mobile devices.
The GSMA wants to reduce the complexity and cost of manufacture of devices that enable machine-to-machine (M2M) communications to ensure fast take-up of mobile in vertical market sectors and to boost associated data traffic revenues for network operators.
Twenty-five mobile organisations have joined with the GSMA to draw up the guidelines, among them AT&T, Bluetooth SIG, Intel, Jasper Wireless, NTT DoCoMo, Motorola, Orange, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sierra Wireless, Telecom Italia, Telefónica and Vodafone.
The GSMA said the guidelines promote a family of module types with the aim of driving economies of scale to lower the cost of embedding modules in everyday devices.
They also provide an opportunity for the industry to work more immediately and closely with consumer electronics, healthcare, automotive and utilities sectors by addressing specific connectivity needs.
Proposals have been outlined for simpler certification of kit and and cost-effective provisioningto speed up the launch of new devices and services. The industry will introduce a service mark for devices that allow M2M connectivity.
In parallel, the GSMA has partnered with the Continua Health Alliance, a non-profit organisation of healthcare and technology companies, to drive take-up of M2M solutions in the health sector.
The GSMA said the pair will improve accessibility of healthcare systems through deployment of mobile solutions to monitor patient health.
The GSMA cited statistics by management consultancy McKinsey that suggest the healthcare industry could save $175-200 billion annually by managing chronic diseases through remote monitoring.
The initiative will also focus, in the first instance, on mobile solutions in the energy and transportation industries. It pointed to smart meters to transmit data between homes and utilities companies, and also wider deployment of home systems to control heating and lighting remotely.
Mobile connectivity in vehicles should improve such things as vehicle maintenance, route finding and in-car entertainment.
GSMA chief technology and strategy officer Alex Sinclair said:
“The global potential for connected devices is huge – it’s more than just mobile phones and laptop PCs. It can be anything that has a mobile connection embedded in it such as a camera, a music player, a car, a smart meter or a health monitor.
“We expect to see up to 50 billion connected devices over the next 15 years, finally making the prospect of a truly connected lifestyle a reality. Reducing the cost of innovative healthcare solutions, lowering carbon emissions and substantially improving energy efficiency are just some of the benefits connected devices will provide.”