At the Mobile World Congress 2010 the GSM association (GSMA) announced several important updates to its Embedded Mobile initiative, a programme to accelerate the global adoption of wireless connectivity in a wide range of devices in key vertical markets such as consumer electronics, healthcare, automotive and utilities.
“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. Predictions around how many devices will be connected to mobile networks vary, but 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,” said Alex Sinclair, chief technology and strategy officer at the GSMA.
The GSMA has published a set of industry guidelines to reduce design complexity and fragmentation, to in turn deliver cost-effective modules for the embedded mobile market. Besides, the GSMA has announced a partnership with the Continua Health Alliance, a non-profit, open industry organisation of healthcare and technology companies, to promote innovation and drive the use of embedded mobile solutions in healthcare. Finally, the GSMA has announced the winners of its Embedded Mobile Competition, for the best device and the best end-to-end service.
The GSMA and 25 leading organisations have developed a set of industry guidelines for the design and implementation of embedded modules in new device categories. These guidelines promote a core family of module types with the aim of driving economies of scale to lower the cost of embedding modules in everyday devices. The guidelines also provide an opportunity for the mobile industry to work with the consumer electronics, healthcare, automotive and utilities sectors by addressing sector-specific connectivity needs. Initial proposals have been outlined for simpler certification and cost-effective provisioning processes to speed up the launch of new embedded devices and services. The industry will also play a key role in helping users understand which devices are ready to use on a mobile network through a simple service mark identification programme.