Global SIM for Internet of Things Apps. Photo: ITU
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.
According to ITU, 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.
Mobile Virtual Network Enablers (MVNEs) such as Transatel, Plintron, Bics, MTX Connect, Teleena, and Emnify have become Associate members of ITU-T Study Group 2 to apply for global IMSI ranges.