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Remote subscription management of M2M terminals in 4G cellular wireless networks

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2 Author(s)
Abdalla, I. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX, USA ; Venkatesan, S.

Machine to Machine (M2M) communication is the backbone of large-scale urban sensing, one of the enabling technologies of the Smart City. Some smart grids are already using M2M for efficient energy management and residential smart meters. The 4th Generation (4G) wireless networks are expected to be used for the majority of the M2M traffic. M2M communication over 4G networks faces some deployment challenges. One of the challenges is the difficulty of managing the subscription of M2M terminals. The challenge is how can an M2M operator, like a utility company, activate or change the subscription of an M2M terminal, like a smart meter, remotely, without requiring a person be at the equipment location. The current subscription management scheme that has been used for human subscribers is based on using the Universal Subscriber Identity Module (USIM) application to store subscriber information in a Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC). An operator change requires a new UICC from the new operator. This scheme is not suitable for M2M terminals due to the large number of terminals and the nature of their deployment in remote areas. The UICC in the M2M terminals are, in some cases, permanently sealed to prevent tampering and are thus not removable. This paper discusses the challenges of subscription management of M2M terminals communicating over the 4G networks. We present a solution to remotely manage the M2M subscription. The solution which is based on the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) of the 4G cellular network facilitates Over-The-Air (OTA) subscription activation or change for M2M terminals.

Published in:

Local Computer Networks Workshops (LCN Workshops), 2012 IEEE 37th Conference on

Date of Conference:

22-25 Oct. 2012