In this Q&A, Bernd Müller, Head of Technology and Strategy, Connectivity and IoT Business – Giesecke+Devrient, explores key industry trends and the role of TCA across the secure connectivity ecosystem.
Please can you tell us about Giesecke+Devrient?
Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) is a global security technology group headquartered in Munich. We develop tailored solutions in four core areas: payments, connectivity, identities, and digital infrastructures.
G+D is influential in the field of connectivity. We have played a key role in shaping the development of the SIM card; from the delivery of the first SIM in 1991; to the further development of SIM solutions for new mobile communications standards such as 5G and miniaturisation with micro and nano SIM cards; all the way to the current standard – eSIMs built directly into the device.
As with SIM cards in general, G+D has also played a leading role in establishing eSIM technology. In 2012, we supplied the world’s first commercial eSIM solution to US operator AT&T. When it comes to eSIM management, we are not only a pioneer, but a market leader.
Why did you join the Trusted Connectivity Alliance (TCA) and what do you think is its most important role in today’s connectivity industry?
We were a founding member of the SIMalliance (which evolved to become the TCA) and have been actively contributing to the development of the TCA ecosystem since the beginning.
One of the central goals of the TCA is to accelerate the delivery of interoperable solutions. As TCA includes representation from key manufacturers, solution and service providers, it acts as a thought-leader and promotes open and scalable technologies. In doing so, TCA defines technical standards that enable interoperability and educate key stakeholders on the benefits of the technologies. Key topics include solutions such as eSIM or integrated SIM and new IoT applications. Here, we see secure connectivity as key to greater implementation of a wide variety of IoT use cases.
What are the key issues facing players in the IoT space and are there any specific roles for specific organization types (e.g. mobile operators, manufacturers, vendors, standards bodies)?
The key challenges lie in standardisation and interoperability. After all, many different manufacturers, network operators, certification bodies or industry associations, such as the GSMA, are part of the connectivity ecosystem.
Changing framework conditions also pose challenges for the industry. These include, for example, interrupted supply chains or the recent chip shortage.
Last but not least, the issue of sustainability is of utmost importance. G+D has been trying to set a good example here across many areas for some time now. This includes producing SIM card bodies from recycled materials, or half-SIM and quarter-SIM cards that reduce plastic consumption. G+D is also actively promoting the further market penetration of eSIM technology which offers numerous sustainability advantages including no plastic frames, zero packaging waste and the elimination of transport routes.
What are the key industry trends and challenges right now?
Three key trends and developments that can be identified are the accelerated adoption of eSIM technology due to increasing digitalisation, the conception of new IoT applications thanks to the rising penetration of powerful 5G mobile technology, and the focus on solutions for secure connectivity.
How do you think the industry is set to evolve in the future and why will industry collaboration be important?
The industry is actively shaping the future through its innovations. Industry associations, and the TCA in particular, are key to driving the ongoing digital transformation.
There are several reasons in favour of TCA membership. One of the most important arguments for the TCA is the strength and credibility of its members, who are among the leaders of the global connectivity ecosystem. To make the IoT secure and address the upcoming interoperability challenges arising from new use cases, the industry needs to work closely together. Only then can the transformative potential of IoT be truly realised.
TCA provides the optimal forum for this collaboration. In doing so, TCA members can play a key role in shaping the further evolution of connectivity and security technologies. As part of a renowned industry organization, members can access unparalleled market insights. The continuous exchange of knowledge and experience also contributes to the efficient and fast market introduction of new solutions.
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