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Waiting for extended M2M critical services definition

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In Short:

The Department of Telecommunications may delay defining critical services for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, raising security concerns. Telecom regulator Trai will conduct further consultations. DoT accepted Trai’s recommendations in 2017 but has not defined critical services yet. Telecom industry worries about M2M communications on non-licensed spectrum. DoT expands registration scope for M2M and IoT services, emphasizing standardization for security and encryption. Telecom operators expect revenue boost.

Further Delay Expected in Defining Critical Services for M2M Communications

There will likely be a further delay in defining critical services for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications as the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has sought more suggestions from the telecom regulator on critical services and their regulatory requirements.

Stakeholder Consultation Required

An official at the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) confirmed that they will conduct a consultation with stakeholders regarding M2M services based on the reference from DoT.

Industry Concerns on Security Implications

The telecom industry is concerned about the security implications of the delay in defining critical services. Currently, most M2M communications are happening on non-licensed spectrum without security parameters, posing risks to networks.

Previous Recommendations and Current Developments

Trai had previously given recommendations on M2M communications in 2017, urging DoT to identify critical services that should be provided through licensed spectrum. DoT accepted the recommendations broadly but has yet to define and notify the services.

Identification of Critical Services

The inter-ministerial group identified critical services such as connected vehicles, autonomous cars, remote surgery, financial transactions, energy smart grids, utilities distribution networks, and drone communications. Regulatory requirements for these sectors will be defined by respective ministries.

Importance of M2M Communications

DoT expanded the scope of M2M and IoT registrations in January this year to include all entities. This move will enable standardization of M2M/IoT services to address issues around KYC, security, and encryption.

Enhancing Revenue and Securing Digital Infrastructure

Once critical services are defined, they must be provided using licensed spectrum and comply with QoS and security conditions. This will provide a revenue boost to telecom operators and enhance digital infrastructure security.

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