ITU establishes Focus Group on Machine-to-Machine Service Layer

The January meeting of the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) has established a new Focus Group on Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Service Layer.

M2M refers to the ability of a machine to sense and measure certain variables, and communicate this information to other machines in a network. Included under the larger umbrella of the “Internet of Things” (IoT), M2M technologies have applications in a number of industries – e-health, fleet management, sales and payment, security and surveillance, intelligent transport systems (ITS) etc.

The group will study and evaluate the M2M landscape and M2M work currently being undertaken by regional and national standards development organizations (SDOs), with a view to identifying a common set of requirements.

The Focus Group will initially focus on the APIs and protocols to support e-health applications and services, and develop technical reports in these areas. It is suggested that the Focus Group establish three sub-working groups: “M2M use cases and service models”, “M2M service layer requirements” and “M2M APIs and protocols.” Strong collaboration with stakeholders such as Continua Health Alliance and World Health Organization (WHO) is foreseen.
The Focus Group concept allows for greater operational flexibility and crucially allows non ITU members and other interested organisations to participate.

The group is expected to carry out the following specific tasks:

  • Research, collect and analyze the vertical market M2M service layer needs, initially focusing on e-health.
  • Identify a minimum common set of M2M service layer requirements and capabilities, initially focusing on e-health applications and services.
  • Study APIs and relevant protocols that satisfy the above requirements and capabilities to support the communications between the M2M applications and the telecom networks.
  • Develop technical reports to address the identified gaps and propose future standardization work for ITU-T developments on M2M.
  • Support global harmonization and consolidation by inputting its final deliverables to the parent Study Group and other relevant Study Groups as appropriate.

These terms of reference are subject to consultation of the next four-weeks.

The Focus Group will work closely with all ITU-T Study Groups, especially Study Groups 13 and 16, with the other ITU sectors (ITU-R, ITU-D) and with other relevant UN agencies, SDOs, forums/consortia, regulators, policy makers, industry and academia.

Within the ITU, the group will work particularly closely with the Internet of Things Global Standards Initiative (IoT-GSI).

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