"During oneM2M's TP#38, we started work on important domains - industrial, vehicular and fog/edge architectures - in addition to laying the groundwork for semantic interoperability and tools to help user adoption"

January 2019 - oneM2M Technical Plenaries (TPs) are regular events over the calendar year where members have an opportunity to review progress on different work items and agree decisions about the oneM2M standard. This Executive Interview focuses on developments at TP#38 which was hosted by ARIB and TTC in Kanazawa, Japan. Dale Seed (Convida Wireless) shares his observations from the event.

Q. Let us know something of your role in oneM2M and your responsibilities at Convida Wireless?

DS. I'm currently serving as Chairman of the oneM2M System Design and Security Working Group. Before the recent re-structuring that took place in oneM2M, I served as Chairman of the oneM2M Architecture Working Group. In these roles, I help guide the development and define the direction of the oneM2M standard.

My responsibilities in Convida include leading the architecture and design of our oneM2M-based IoT Platform and assisting our business and product management teams interface with external customers and partners

Q. For new readers, tell us something about the TP and what it does

DS. The oneM2M Technical Plenary has responsibility for the oneM2M technical activities. The TP meets 5-6 times a year at rotating locations around the world. The purpose of the TP meetings is to gather subject matter experts from various member companies and organizations for technical face-to-face discussions on advancing the oneM2M standard.

Having started in 2012, the TP released a first version of the standard in 2015. Our membership has continued to work on improvements and new capabilities, culminating in the issue of Release 3 in 2018. New work on Release 4 is now underway.

Work within the TP is organized into working groups based on technical focus areas. At the December 2018 TP meeting, a re-structuring of the TP working groups took place to better align the organization with the emerging industry requirements and better optimize/streamline work flow.

The new structure now consists of three technical working groups. The first is the Requirements & Domain Models (RDM) Working Group. Its members document domain-specific and cross-domain use cases which help to identify future service and system requirements. This includes interworking aspects to other non-oneM2M systems. The group coordinates liaisons with other IoT industry bodies which are important sources of requirements. One of its newer responsibilities is on data models and ontologies to harmonize interworking within vertical domains and to enable cross-domain data exchange.

Next is the System Design & Security (SDS) Working Group. Its participants specify the oneM2M architecture, communications protocol and security framework. This includes system management functionality such as device management and communications protocol management. The group is also responsible for security framework capabilities including identity, credential management, data privacy and security functions (authentication, confidentiality, integrity verification and authorization).

Finally, there is a Testing & Developers Ecosystem (TDE) Working Group which deals with test requirements for oneM2M System and related services. These are based on a set of specifications to support conformance tests, interoperability tests, and developers guides. The group organizes and coordinates test related events (such as Plugtests), developer events (such as hackathons and developer tutorials) and interoperability events with other organizations. It also supports the oneM2M Certification Program and its maintenance.

At most TPs, we get about 100 delegates from 20+ member organizations. This diverse collection of individuals at each TP brings together a significant amount of technical expertise in an open and multi-company environment.

Q. What happens in a typical TP meeting?

DS. Each TP meeting is a week-long in duration. Before each TP, members prepare and submit technical contributions. Contributions target specific work items approved by the TP. Each work item focuses on a particular topic area and its corresponding features. As a work item progresses through its lifecycle, it is worked on by the different TP working groups. Submitted contributions are then reviewed by other members in advance of the meeting to familiarize themselves with their content.

At the TP meeting itself, the technical contributions are discussed in detail amongst the members to assess technical correctness and whether there is proper justification for inclusion into the oneM2M standard. If consensus is reached on a given contribution, then it is approved for insertion into a corresponding oneM2M specification.

Q. What were the major work items at the oneM2M TP#38 held in Kanazawa Japan? What did the TP accomplish? What are its next plans?

DS.There were too many work items to go through in detail so let me highlight a few items that deal with IoT market priorities. There were a few work items on key verticals such as the consumer electronics, public warning and vehicular domains. Another category dealt with Edge and Fog computing, beginning with industrial and vehicular environments. This is an area where our members are laying the foundation for oneM2M service discovery and orchestration.

Advances in low-power, wide-area technologies and NB-IoT pose new challenges in managing the quality-of-service for power constrained and intermittently active connected devices. There is an active area of work on 3GPP interworking as cellular networks will play a central role in large-scale IoT deployments.

In order to drive adoption, an important and active area of work is to provide resources such as developer and 'Getting Started' guides for new users to learn how to use and apply oneM2M standards.

Finally, in order to target new sources of value higher up the IoT solution stack, there are a few work items on semantic interoperability and information models. oneM2M is defining its Smart Device Template (SDT) that provides an abstraction layer to model and manage connected devices from various industry verticals. Initial focus has been on Home, Agriculture, Railways and Smart City domains.

Q. Were there any other interesting things that took place at TP #38 worth noting?

DS. A relatively recent addition to the TP meeting program is a oneM2M Industry Day event. These events enable information sharing and demonstrations among oneM2M experts and other M2M/IoT stakeholders and end-user sectors.

The TP#38 Industry Day Event included an overview of oneM2M as well as some insight into some of the new features supported by the latest release of oneM2M such as the new capability to interwork with 3GPP 4G/5G networks. There were several presentations from key IoT stakeholders in Japan such as KDDI, Hitachi, Docomo and KOMATSU as well as some local organizations in the Kanazawa area.

During the week, we also recognized several of our members for their outstanding technical contribution to oneM2M specifications. Award recipients included Andreas Kraft of Deutsche Telekom, Miguel Angel Reina Ortega of ETSI, Kenichi Yamamoto of KDDI and Bob Flynn and Chonggang Wang of Convida Wireless.

Q. When is the next TP meeting?

DS. TP #39 will take place Feb 18th - 22nd 2019 in Malaga Spain.

About oneM2M

oneM2M is the global standards initiative that covers requirements, architecture, API specifications, security solutions and interoperability for Machine-to-Machine and IoT technologies. oneM2M was formed in 2012 and consists of eight of the world's preeminent standards development organizations: ARIB (Japan), ATIS (U.S.), CCSA (China), ETSI (Europe), TIA (U.S.), TSDSI (India), TTA (Korea), and TTC (Japan), together with one industry consortium (GlobalPlatform) and about 200 member organizations. oneM2M specifications provide a framework to support applications and services such as the smart grid, connected car, home automation, public safety, and health. For more information, including how to join and participate in oneM2M, see: www.onem2m.org.