Machine-to-Machine (M2M) is an environment which allows data to be exchanged between two devices over a mobile network or through a wired connection. Communication takes place here without any user intervention. This means that data captured by a device can be monitored, collected and transferred to a remote background system using automated processes.
There are endless possibilities for M2M applications. It has been estimated that 50 billion different devices could be used for M2M. Electricity meters in private households can be equipped with SIM cards, or automatically send meter readings to the provider via a mobile network for billing. M2M can also be used in wireless point-of-sale terminals, parking meters, or security warning systems.
Many M2M devices contain a standard SIM card to enable independent connection. The SIM plays a key role as the central security and access-control entity for establishing network connectivity. Depending on the application, various G&D hardware for M2M communication is available to customers. There is an M2M SIM in the standard plug-in form factor, or a solderable SMD module (surface mounted device), also known as the MFF2.
G&D developed the M2M SIM especially for the M2M market. For SIM cards in the field, on-demand activation (ODA) is available, as is remote Over-the-Air maintenance (OTA). Intelligent roaming solutions, the use of digital signatures for smart metering and the provision of appropriate network access data to M2M devices are also possible.
Due to the diverse areas of application, M2M hardware must be able to function flawlessly, even under extreme conditions. M2M SIMs are resistant to humidity, and vibrations, as well as temperature fluctuations from -40 to 105 °C. The cards are therefore well protected from physical damage, and corrosion. They are also very durable, and last for more than 500,000 read/write cycles. When it comes to security, they follow the established security concept for the mobile world.