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Mobile World Congress

Mobile World Congress

Through leveraging oneM2M interfaces, IoT becomes as easy as driving

Average car drivers are not engineers involved in gear box development or programing of the Engine Control Unit (ECU) , yet they are all able to drive cars very easily. One of the main reasons are well known and globally accepted interactions between the driver and the car.

You might not think of driving as a set of open interfaces for interoperability, but in fact brake and acceleration pedals or the steering wheel in a car are great examples of globally standardized interfaces for interoperability. Regardless of the car type or where in the world it is being driven, drivers can rely on the same set of driving principles and interactions with the car.

Drivers can rely on the consistent car response to a specific driver action, e.g. once the steering wheel is turned right, the car turns right or once the brake pedal is engaged, the car reduces its speed. How is all this related to IoT? Let us explain.

In various IoT related news, there are often bold headlines like, “IoT is lacking standards” or “IoT cannot be standardized because the use cases are too diverse.” Although, it is true that there is some level of uniqueness and customization for each use cases (like the color or shape of the steering wheel may be unique), there are many aspect that all IoT use cases have in common (like steering the wheel itself). Typical aspects, common to most IoT solutions are:

  • storing data locally or if connectivity is temporarily unavailable on the device,
  • registering devices to the specific server infrastructure where data is aggregated (e.g. cloud),
  • providing remote firmware updates for the devices,
  • rebooting or resetting of devices,
  • enabling e2e security between the device and the infrastructure,
  • reading/polling of device information and sensor data,
  • remotely controlling the communication behavior of the device,
  • and many others.

Controlling the communication behavior of the device is particularly important for achieving the long battery life of often small and constrained IoT devices. For the cellular network operator, it is equally important to prevent any bottlenecks to the network that can be generated by the millions of customer devices potentially transmitting or receiving data at the same time.

Today, many of above listed functions are going to be implemented with varying degrees of success and quality, because they are not relying on one consistent standard. For the IoT customer then, it is challenging to find the right integration partners having the required experience in the underlying connectivity and IoT technologies that can make IoT solutions consistently successful.

This is exactly where oneM2M standard comes in. oneM2M standard has been created through a global partnership between 8 regional Telecommunication Standardization Development Organizations* and more than 200 member companies (www.oneM2M.org). oneM2M standard defines IoT interfaces that developers can use to create IoT applications that are interoperable and consistent like steering the wheel.

Via these interfaces, developers can easily read device information or sensor data and invoke other functions listed above. This becomes similar to the application programmers creating Android or iOS applications for modern smartphones. IoT application development becomes more efficient and applications more portable. Portability also enables interoperability between different providers and avoids vendor lock-ins for the customer.

While oneM2M standard usage is already quite common in Asia (Japan and South-Korea), it is just getting started in Western countries. For example, T-Mobile Austria, a Deutsche Telekom affiliate, is spearheading research and development of oneM2M standard-based technologies while leveraging its NB-IoT connectivity. This is enabled through the close cooperation with global industry players:

  • Qualcomm through their cellular MD9206 modem
  • Chordant, an affiliate of InterDigital and Convida (joint venture of InterDigital and Sony), through their oneM2M enabled device software
  • Quectel through their BG96 developer board.

Through this cooperation, feasibility of oneM2M technology for a constrained device, operating without a Micro Controller Unit (MCU) directly on the cellular modem has been proven.

Technical details:

The oneM2M device software:

  • runs in a small device footprint appropriate for constrained devices,
  • uses industry standard oneM2M application protocol,
  • can support Transport Layer Security (TLS),
  • can support Lightweight Machine-to-Machine (LWM2M) device management operations like: firmware updates, reboot, reset, and read of device information and sensor data,
  • compatible with NB-IoT, Cat-M1, and legacy cellular networks,
  • portable between different device platforms.

The device uses the oneM2M mca interface to:

  • Connect to an IN-CSE (over HTTP),
  • Create the AE resource in the IN-CSE (registration),
  • Create a node resource and (device) management objects under the AE resource,
  • Create AE subscriptions on the management objects,
  • Create data container and a content instance for a simulated temperature sensor.
  • Note: Application Entity (AE) and Infrastructure Node Common Service Entity (IN-CSE) are oneM2M terminology for application software and infrastructure server, respectively.

* http://onem2m.org/about-onem2m/partners

  • ARIB: Association of Radio Industries and Businesses, Japan
  • ATIS: Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions, US
  • CCSA: China Communications Standards Association
  • ETSI: European Telecommunications Standards Institute
  • TIA: Telecommunications Industry Association, US
  • TSDSI: Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India 
  • TTA: Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA), Korea
  • TTC: Telecommunication Technology Committee, Japan

Experience DTAG / T-Mobile technology leadership in IoT at the MWC 2019 Chordant/InterDigital, Booth Hall 7, 7C61 &  DTAG Booth Hall 3, 3M31

Please contact Andreas Neubacher andreas.neubacher@t-mobile.at for more information about oneM2M.