TIA releases new M2M standards, TR-50, designed for easy adoption by industry

Orlando, Florida, USA – The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), the leading association representing manufacturers and suppliers of high-tech communications networks, has announced the publication of key updates to its TR-50 Machine-to-Machine (M2M) protocol standards series The purpose of the updated new standards is to inspire maanufacturers to implement connectivity to the things they make. Said to be easy to understand, the documents are TR-50 TIA 4940.020 and TR-50 TIA 4940.000.

These standards are designed to help manufacturers of products and providers of services from around the world to enable their assets for affordable and secure connectivity and accessibility – even for those manufacturers without extensive telecommunications experience.

The goal of any standardisation effort is to reduce complexity and costs, and improve interoperability, through commonality. TIA has recognised that the growing demand for M2M and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions has increased the need for collaboration between the automation and communications industries. In doing so, the industries will be better able to define new business models, achieve new revenue streams, improve operational effectiveness to save money, and ensure compliance.

In order to achieve this collaboration, TIA joined forces with the OPC Foundation, which is dedicated to ensuring interoperability in automation. The two organisations have consolidated development efforts in automation, and cloud and network communications standards in order to bridge the divide between two previously distinct industries and develop the fast-to-market M2M industry standards announced today. Through its TR-50 Engineering Committee, TIA is leveraging 80 years of experience developing leading communications standards, while OPC, a founding member of the TIA TR-50 Smart Device Engineering Committee, helped shepherd the TIA’s first M2M standard launched in 2011.

“The technological solutions for M2M and the Internet of Things need to fit the opportunity,” according to TIA president, Grant Seiffert. “The OPC Foundation’s standards were an ideal fit with TIA’s efforts to define easy-to-use M2M Standards. It’s our intent to focus on the underlying architecture and communications layer to turn the massive growth potential of M2M into a reality.”

Grant_Seiffert,President
Grant Seiffert, TIA President

“We recognised the need to collaborate with a leading communications standards organisation to close the gap between the two industries,” said Tom Burke, president and executive director of OPC Foundation. “TIA was the obvious choice to help bring this important idea to life.”

Alcatel Lucent, AT&T, CenturyLink, Cisco, Ericsson, ILS Technology, Intel, LG, Nokia Siemens Networks, Numerex, Qualcomm, Sprint, Verizon and Wyless, among others, are actively involved members of the TIA TR-50 standards committee, contributing to the four standards that have now been released.

OPC Foundation brings deep expertise in the field of automation interoperability (‘Things’ in the Internet of Things) to match the expertise of the TIA in network and cloud-based communications (the Internet) to create an umbrella approach to industry-leading communications standards for M2M and the Internet of Things.

“In the industrial world, the emerging ‘internet of things’ will open important new opportunities for companies to improve overall equipment effectiveness and realise other performance improvements. These will be enabled through seamless data and information exchanges between machines, automation and information systems, and software applications such as advanced analytics, visualisation, equipment monitoring, and remote operations,” said Craig Resnick, vice president at ARC Advisory Group. He continued, “Inevitably, this will require interoperability between existing telecommunications and industrial automation networks. ARC believes that the latest TIA M2M standards will play an important role in making this happen.”

“As a participant in both the OPC foundation as well as the Telecommunication Industry Association, we felt that bringing these groups together for this initiative made great sense,” said Fred Yentz, president of ILS Technology and a member of TIA’s TR-50 Engineering Committee. “As a result, we’ve now seen the publishing of an easy-to-implement M2M communications protocol which will be used by the thousands of companies who manufacture products and provide services.”

Throughout 2013, TIA will highlight M2M and IoT through its networking and market intelligence services, starting this month with the debut of The Future of the Network Leadership Series, February 19th on www.tianow.org. In addition, the TR-50 Engineering Committee will meet again on February 19th and throughout the year. In October, TIA will host its annual industry event, TIA 2013: The Future of the Network, on 8-10 October with an entire track dedicated to M2M and the Internet of Things.

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) represents manufacturers and suppliers of global communications networks through standards development, policy and advocacy, business opportunities, market intelligence, and events and networking. TIA enhances the business environment for broadband, mobile wireless, information technology, networks, cable, satellite and unified communications. Members’ products and services empower communications in every industry and market, including healthcare, education, security, public safety, transportation, government, the military, the environment, and entertainment. TIA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

The OPC Foundation is dedicated to ensuring interoperability in automation by creating and maintaining open specifications that standardize the communication of acquired process data, alarm and event records, historical data, and batch data to multi-vendor enterprise systems and between production devices. Production devices include sensors, instruments, PLCs, RTUs, DCSs, HMIs, historians, trending subsystems, alarm subsystems, and more as used in the process industry, manufacturing, and in acquiring and transporting oil, gas, and minerals.

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