Connectivity Orchestration for IoT

The GSMA SGP.02 specification defines the subscription management service as an atomic operation changing the state of an eUICC or of a profile on this eUICC. This atomic operation is triggered by MNO connected to SM-DP and/or SM-SR via the standard interfaces ES4 or ES2. Triggering of eUICC state change by M2M SP via SM-SR has been introduced in the version 4.0 of SGP.02. All operations performed by M2M SP happen under control of the connectivity providers connected to the respective SM-SR using authorization mechanisms, the profile download can be performed exclusively by a connectivity provider. It is out of scope of the SGP.02 specification, how the connectivity provider decides about the triggering of a subscription management operation or how the subscriptions are assigned to the devices (eUICCs).

The value introduced by eUICC for the IoT ecosystem consists in easiness of the change of connectivity service providers for a particular device. Considering the fact that the majority of the IoT devices are operating without human interaction and involvement of any technical support personnel increase the cost of service, the connectivity provider change shall happen automatically, being triggered by some business rules. In the ideal case, the full lifecycle of the device connectivity shall be managed completely automatically, from connectivity service bootstrap to the device end of life.

Connectivity
Orchestrator

The Connectivity Orchestrator is a component responsible for the automated lifecycle management of the device (eUICC) connectivity and triggering standard GSMA interfaces (ES2 and ES4) of a subscription manager (SAS-SM certified or not) external to this component. It is also responsible to store information about eUICC and profile states (without storing the eUICC or profile sensitive data) as well as to manage the associations of eUICCs and the profiles. The lifecycle management operation is triggered by an event sent by an external entity (e.g. IoT Service Platform, MNO BSS, application on eUICC, ...) and by the rules defined for this particular event. While executing a life cycle management operation, the Connectivity Orchestrator can trigger an external subscription management service requesting execution of an atomic operation (e.g. profile enablement) and handling the notifications received from this service containing the results of the operation execution.

The Connectivity Orchestrator is out of scope of the GSMA certification because the SAS-SM certification of a subscription management service is limited to the scope covered by SGP.02 and does not address the processes residing outside of this specification. This fact provides freedom in the deployment of the Connectivity Orchestrator.

The Connectivity Orchestrator is intended to provide a framework for specification, configuration and execution of business processes. The Connectivity Orchestrator maintains all eUICC information (including the history of operations) and virtual subscription stock information. The role of the Connectivity Orchestrator is to take an event (e.g. location change), eUICC State from eUICC information set (e.g. active profile) and stock of subscription pools available for a customer, and to make a business decision based on the defined rules.

In the scope of the Connectivity Orchestrator:

  • a business rule is an atomic statement like "In case of event X and eUICC state Y do Z"
  • a business process is a sequential set of business rules checked in the defined order

Examples of a business rule: 

  • if device location has been changed to MCC=XXX then activate subscription of MNO=YYY if installed
  • if device location has been changed to MCC=XXX then download and activate subscription of MNO=ZZZ

In these examples, "device location have been changed" - is an event type, and XXX, YYY and ZZZ - are business rule parameters.

The Connectivity Orchestrator implementation is not limited to the scope of GSMA M2M specification (SGP.02). It is also compliant with GSMA consumer specification (SGP.22) and potentially open for market segments specific adaptations and future technologies like iSIM and SSP.