NTA has decided to allow the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) and the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) to get M2M SIM cards. Both these organizations can now get and utilize the SIM cards for automatic metering, and for weather predictions respectively.
Earlier, the telecom regulator had directed telecom operators not to issue any M2M SIM cards citing the incomplete numbering plan. But it reversed the decision after assessing the application CAAN and DHM sent to Nepal Telecom (Ntc).
M2M stands for Machine to Machine. These can work like regular SIM cards but are more reliable and durable and they can withstand adverse climatic conditions.
With this decision, Nepali operators can sell M2M SIM cards to CAAN at least for the moment. NTA Director Ambar Sthapit said, “We are still working on the numbering plan. We are still exploring the prospect of a new number range for (Internet of Things) IoT and M2M.”
“In such a scenario, the authority had previously asked operators to provide the M2M SIM cards in a way that they can be changed if necessary, even after the SIM card is sold,” Sthapit added. “But changing the number afterward could be a hectic process. That is why the authority didn’t follow its initial plan,” he elaborated.
After service providers objected, the regulator sanctioned the sale of M2M SIM cards till further decision.
The directive did not seem practical. So, the regulator itself decided to give operators permission to provide the M2M SIMS only if it was acceptable to talk to the buyers and inform them that they could be changed later.”
For that, the service provider has to inform the Telecommunication Authority about the application for the SIM cards. Following the same path, operator Ntc can now issue M2M SIMs to CAAN and DHM.
NTA says it held talks with both the organizations and allowed the government-backed operator to distribute M2M SIM cards to them.
NTA Director Sthapit says, “We discussed the possibility of changing SIM card numbers with CAAN and DHM. They have acknowledged it and agreed on the possible scenario. Only after this, we have allowed Ntc to distribute SIM cards for them.” Check out: eSIM vs iSIM
Sthapit also shared that companies not agreeing to a possible number change later won’t get M2M SIM cards.
Ntc informed that NTA has accepted two applications for the M2M SIM cards. “Two of the applications we have sent have received approval by the regulator. However, there is no decision yet for other individuals or companies yet,” said Ntc spokesman Shobhan Adhikari.
Machine to Machine or M2M is like any regular SIM card but they are more efficient and reliable. They can survive in extreme weather conditions and movements and still operate. They can still communicate and transfer data remotely which can be difficult for normal SIMs. This is why their usage expands beyond the mere use of phones.
In particular, M2M SIM is used in the Internet of Things (IoT) for better communications and performance.
For CAAN, M2M SIM cards will be useful to use for automatic metering, and DHM will use them to generate more accurate weather predictions.
The IoT and M2M usage are growing in Nepal. They can improve the efficiency of services for better communication and faster transmission of data. Do share your expectations from the M2M SIM cards and the IoT in the comments below.