M2M Standardization Task Force (GSC MSTF) meets Sept 20-21 @ Georgia Tech Research Institute

Building a Platform for the Emerging M2M Dialogue

Upcoming International Conference in Atlanta Will Highlight M2M Advances

By Cheryl Blum, Vice President, Technology and Business Development, TIA 

The last two years have seen a remarkable renewed interest from wireless carriers, telecommunications equipment suppliers and standards development organizations (SDOs) in machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. M2M protocols and technologies allow two pieces of equipment to exchange data and commands with little or no human involvement. That functionality is now permeating the United States and global economies as companies demand real-time data from networked systems that span many vertical markets such as healthcare, manufacturing, information and communications technology, shipping, finance, and utilities. 

For example, real-time vehicular telematics technologies helped shipping giant United Parcel Service (UPS) reduce the amount of fuel consumed per package in the United States by 3.3 percent and engine idling time by 15.4 percent in 2010, Data sensors track vehicle performance mechanically and driver route and behavior behind the wheel. Scott Wicker, UPS’s Chief Sustainability Officer, says: “the data we gather from telematics enables us to make small adjustments with big payoffs.”  

M2M technology for monitoring is also used to save lives. Cinterion and TZ Medical are launching a new heart monitoring device that can detect abnormalities in heartbeats and communicate the diagnostic data to physicians via mobile networks and the Internet. Authorized caregivers can securely view patient data at any time, from anywhere in the world to determine treatment approaches. 

However, harmonizing M2M technologies across such a wide range of industries is a significant challenge, which is why the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) is hosting the next GSC Machine-to-Machine Standardization Task Force’s (GSC MSTF) meeting at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) Sept. 20-21. The theme of the Atlanta event is “M2M Standards as Growth Enablers.” 

The GSC MSTF was created in September 2010 at an international meeting of major SDOs in Beijing to facilitate global coordination and harmonization in M2M standardization. The MSTF roundtable will help in finalizing an activity map and make recommendations on current and future M2M standardization undertakings to the Global Standards Collaboration (GSC) in Halifax, Nova Scotia, from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3. 

The meeting, open to the public and free of charge, features a conference followed by a roundtable. Attendees will have valuable collaborative opportunities, and gain technical insights into the area of M2M technology from the perspective of industry experts involved in critical vertical markets.  

The conference will include panels on healthcare; transportation, logistics and supply chain; residential and commercial security and home automation; payments (ATM/vending/mobile payments); manufacturing and industrial processes; and energy and Smart Grid.  

A number of prominent industry experts will be participating, including Dr. Daniel Russler, VP of Clinical Informatics at Oracle; Chuck Holland, VP of Industrial Engineering at UPS; Ron Zimmer, President and CEO of the Continental Automated Buildings Association; Cynthia Merritt, Assistant Director of the Retail Payments Risk Forum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; Alexander McMillan, Director of Global Standards and Trade at Rockwell Automation, and member of the American National Standards Institute Board and IEC Standards Management Board; and Eric Gunther, Chairman and CTO of EnerNex Corporation, and Chairman of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), GridWise Architecture Council.  

The GSC MSTF roundtable will feature organizations and companies that are contributing to M2M standards development. It will appeal to attendees directly involved in M2M standards or interested in monitoring the progress of M2M standardization. The roundtable will be moderated by Dr. Ron Bohlander, associate director for Business Operations & Commercialization at GTRI’s Information and Communications Laboratory (ICL) and will include representatives from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the European Standards Telecommunications Institute (ETSI), the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), the 3rd Generation Partnership Project 2 (3GPP2), the Zigbee Alliance, the Continual Health Alliance and TIA. 

The GSC MSTF will be convened by TIA’s TR-50 Smart Device Communications Engineering Committee Chair, Dr. Jeffrey O. Smith, CTO of Numerex. (Please see info on current and past GSC MSTF meetings at www.tiaonline.org/standards/mstf/index.cfm.) 

TIA’s M2M standardization work is multifold. TR-50 is developing a multipart standard for M2M architectures and security to define requirements for access agnostic monitoring and bi-directional communication of events and information between smart devices, applications, and/or networks. TR-50’s central M2M standard feature is interoperability for interfacing with a broad range of machine-to-machine specifications and technologies. Technical interoperability with M2M technologies is also being addressed by TIA’s TR-48 Vehicular Telematics, TR-49 Healthcare ICT, and TR-51 Smart Utility Networks Engineering Committees. 

Attendees at the Atlanta GSC MSTF meeting will have a unique opportunity to participate in the emerging global M2M dialog.  

For additional information about the event, including registration details and a full agenda, please visit www.tiaonline.org/standards/mstf. 


Numerex has organized this M2M meeting. 

“Numerex is honored to have been chosen to organize this important event in the global M2M arena, which will feature international Standards Development Organizations, various standards alliances focusing on specific vertical markets, and companies that are leaders in their field,” said Stratton J. Nicolaides, chairman and CEO of Numerex, in a statement.

“The effective collaboration with TIA (News – Alert) and Georgia Tech, in particular GTRI’s Information and Communications Laboratory has contributed to make this premier international M2M gathering a required stop for any M2M player interested in keeping current with the latest M2M developments,” Nicolaides added.

Jeff Smith, Numerex CTO, presented at IEEE ComSocSCVs M2M/Smart Grid workshop in Sept 2010.  His presentation is at:  http://www.ewh.ieee.org/r6/scv/comsoc/Workshop_092510_M2MStandards.pdf

Alan J Weissberger

IEEE ComSocSCV Chair