ETSI M2M interoperability demonstrated by 13 organizations in France

ETSI successfully demonstrated the interoperability of products based on its new M2M standards at the recent ETSI Machine to Machine workshop held in France in October.   Five comprehensive demonstrations, organized by ETSI’s Technical Committee for Machine to Machine communications (TC M2M), showcased how the interoperability of standards-based solutions in M2M products is key to market success.

The event, the first in a series of ETSI activities focused on M2M interoperability, included thirteen diverse organizations and covered a wide cross section of M2M applications. These included Smart Energy, Environmental Sensing, mHealth, Intelligent Transport, Ambient Assisted Living, Personal Robots, Home Automation, Medical Appliances and Smart Metering.

The demonstrations covered architectural components specified in the ETSI M2M standard, including M2M devices, gateways with associated interfaces, applications, access technologies as well as M2M Service Capabilities Layer.

The companies involved included Actility, Cinterion Wireless Modules GmbH, Grid2Home, Intecs, Intel, InterDigital, NEC, OFFIS, Radisys, Sensinode, Telecom Italia, Vodafone, Vodafone D2 Test & Innovation Center.

Olivier Hersent, CEO of Actility, commented: “Our contribution to the ETSI M2M demo focuses on interoperability with indoor area networks, such as ZigBee. The demonstration shows how ETSI M2M enables operators and utilities to massively deploy in-the-cloud applications controlling indoor area networks and leveraging a shared infrastructure. ETSI M2M provides the foundation enabling mission critical Internet of Things applications, such as load shifting and demand response.”

Manfred Kube of Cinterion commented: “Standards are the key ingredient for establishing an ecosystem of interoperable health solutions that empower people and organizations to better manage health and wellness. By stepping up our collaborative efforts, we can accelerate the development and implementation of portable, wireless, medical devices that enable a more effective and patient-centric care model.”

James N. Nolan, Executive Vice President of Research and Development at InterDigital, commented:  “We are grateful for ETSI’s commitment to driving the standardizing of M2M solutions and promoting interoperability across a wide variety of industries and applications, unlocking the true potential of new services around the world. ETSI’s roadmap is well-aligned with InterDigital’s advanced R&D efforts in M2M communications and our vision of tomorrow’s Internet of Things.”

Dr. Heinrich Stüttgen, Vice President of NEC Laboratories Europe, commented: “M2M is an exploding area for new consumer and business services, providing great opportunities for service operators and enterprises.  ETSI M2M standards enable an expanding market and many new opportunities for more intelligent services. At this workshop we showcased heterogeneous M2M devices in an intelligent home with a personal robot and medical devices, interworking to aid the daily live of elderly citizens. Our research activities and our contributions to the ETSI M2M standards as well as our investigations in advanced services areas like Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) or home energy control show NEC’s commitment to advance M2M technology for the benefit of the society.”

Erik Brenneis, Head of M2M, Vodafone commented: “Building on new ETSI specifications, Vodafone and Intel demonstrated a breakthrough ability to use the SIM card to securely deploy new M2M services on remote devices. This opens the door to significant new commercial applications and cost reductions in the operation of M2M services.”

Just this week, Sierra Wireless and IBM formed an M2M Industry Working Group within the open source Eclipse Foundation.   That group aims to define and implement an open standard platform for the development tools for creating M2M applications, and IBM, along with partner Eurotech, has donated the sourcecode of its M2M messaging system to be a cornerstone of the effort. IBM hopes to acelerate the standardization of the MQTT protocol, originally developed by IBM and Eurotech in 1999.

However,  IBM will not have it all its own way, as some parties think HTTP itself should be the standard protocol for M2M. MQTT, say its supporters, is more optimized for the new networks, particularly because it supports ‘publish and subscribe’ activity, which means the two machines do not need to establish a sustained connection to communicate – very important when networks are unreliable or low bandwidth, as the device can publish when it is ready and then power down.

Observation & Comment

Lack of standards has slowed down the M2M growth,   Here are the M2M standards committees we are aware of:

•European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) TC M2M
•China‟s sensor network standards working group under the China National Information Technology Standardization Committee
•Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) TR-50 Smart Device Communications Engineering Committee (United States)

We know of no such comparible M2M standardization effort in the U.S.  THe closest is the TIA TR 50 standards committee on Smart Devices, AKA Internet of Thnigs.   For more info on that activity, see:

Our concern is that M2M standards are needed within the network for the provisioning, billing, maintenance and management systems for all the new smart devices.  Who  is doing that work?  If no one, then each M2M network provider will build their own purpose built M2M platform.