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Today, we are witnessing the rapid deployment of a true Internet of Things (IoT), where we can benefit from the ability to connect, communicate with and remotely manage a huge variety of connected smart objects. By the year 2020, it is predicted that as many as 20 billion devices will be connected to the Internet, ranging from cars to smart meters, wearable devices and many more.
From a consumer perspective, the IoT impacts life tremendously: from the way we take care of our body (health and fitness) to our living environment (managing our smart home) and transportation. On the business side, there are major benefits expected from industrial automation enabled by the IoT.
The benefits of working with UL
The IoT presents a huge opportunity for all players in the mobile industry. At the same time, there are important challenges to address: interoperability and security are very important for any IoT implementation to work successfully.
It is foreseen that the IoT will remain fragmented until at least 2018, with no dominating ecosystem. Lately, new IoT platforms are offering open APIs to facilitate integration of devices to their ecosystem. However, full standardization and certification processes to guarantee if a device is properly integrated (interfaces, data exchange, logic) and working with a platform are often still missing.
The fragmentation in IoT runs the risk of resulting in a Silo of Things rather than the Internet of Things. Even within a silo, it is often not guaranteed that devices will work together or within the central platform seamlessly.
In addition to interoperability, security and data privacy become critical when connecting devices via public networks. Lately, security attacks and breaches on connected cars and connected electric goods have been demonstrated many times, and we see that in cases like smart cars or e-health devices, they can be life threatening. This means that providers of IoT devices need to pay more attention to security and start thinking about it from the beginning of a product development cycle.
UL is actively involved in specifying standards for IoT interoperability and developing tools for testing compliance with standards and certification. UL can help their customers by developing test tools, as well as a test strategy for functional and interoperability testing of IoT devices and platforms. With automated test tools, we help our customers with time-effective testing and faster time to market.
To enhance security, UL helps customers find out what information is sensitive and important enough to be protected, and how to help ensure confidentiality and integrity of data on the IoT device. UL identifies the best security concept based on the device’s functionality, while helping ensure that the security concept does not constrain system functionality (which can be critical with IoT devices that have limited memory or computing power). Furthermore, UL carries out tests and reviews to evaluate IoT security.
For mobile network operators, the IoT represents a huge opportunity, not only because of the increase in mobile subscriptions they can expect, but also because of the opportunities to offer additional services, such as enhancing security for IoT solution providers.
Key standards we are acutely aware of include:
- GSMA Embedded SIM Remote Provisioning Architecture
- GSMA Remote Provisioning Architecture for Embedded UICC Technical Specification
- GSMA SAS Standard for Subscription Manager Roles
- GSMA SAS Methodology for Subscription Manager Roles
- GSMA Remote Provisioning Architecture for Embedded UICC Test Specification
- GlobalPlatform eUICC Configuration
- SimAlliance eUICC Profile Package: Interoperable Format Technical Specification
- AllSeen Alliance
- Open Interconnect Consortium