Broadband/Network | Emerging Trends | Infrastructure | IoT
September 6, 2017

One world, one global SIM: How ITU-allocated ‘global IMSI ranges’ support IoT and M2M connectivity

Demand for global connectivity for Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) applications is motivating an increasing number of IoT and M2M players to apply for ITU-allocated ‘global IMSI ranges’.

Global International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) ranges are signified by the shared Mobile Country Code ‘901’, a code without ties to any particular country. Global IMSI ranges enable ‘global SIMs’, providing network-agnostic, cross-border connectivity at a single price.

The allocation of global IMSI ranges to ITU members is led by ITU-T Study Group 2, the world’s foremost authority on international numbering.

Evolving use cases

Global IMSI ranges have been of great value in providing maritime and aerospace connectivity for both satellite and cellular communications.

In 2007, ITU allocated a global IMSI range to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs as an international identification system for ICT devices involved in coordinating relief efforts in the wake of disasters.

Fresh interest in global IMSI ranges is now emerging from industry players working to offer global M2M and IoT services to energy utilities, carmakers, healthcare providers and more.

Operate anywhere

Mobile Virtual Network Enablers (MVNEs) such as TransatelPlintronBicsMTX ConnectTeleena and Emnify have become Associate members of ITU-T Study Group 2 to apply for global IMSI ranges.

“Through the global IMSI range and with network partnerships, Plintron will be in a position to offer simplified global connectivity solutions for IoT devices,” says Mohan Kumar Sundaram, Chairman and co-founder of Plintron. “This will catalyze growth in the B2B segment of MVNOs [Mobile Virtual Network Operators] and will enable the launch of a new generation of applications in the IoT space.”

“The 901 IMSI [global IMSI range] will enable Teleena to provide its existing and future IoT customers with a truly global solution from a single source,” says Timo Smit, Executive Director of Teleena. “This solution alongside our network and technology-agnostic IoT platform means we offer the best-of-breed global managed-connectivity services for any IoT business case.”

ITU’s assignment of global IMSI ranges (MNC under a shared MCC 901 xx) is garnering considerable interest from across the telecoms industry, particularly amongst Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), Mobile Virtual Network Enablers (MVNEs) and full Mobile Virtual Network Operators, that are seeking to offer seamless global IoT/M2M services.

ITU has also received significant interest from various verticals such as the automotive and energy industries.

In response to this growing demand, ITU is creating more awareness of this global numbering resource through speaking engagements at various regional and global events such as the forthcoming MVNOs Asia Congress, which will be held in Singapore from the 26-27 September.

See all the organizations in possession of an ITU-allocated global IMSI range here…

Learn more about global IMSI ranges in the new infographic below. For more information, contact the secretariat of ITU-T Study Group 2 at tsbsg2@itu.int.

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