"The TP#39 meeting focused on new, Release 4 use case requirements, device data models, and feature enhancements as well as market adoption activities"

March 2019 - Dale Seed, Convida Wireless

oneM2M Technical Plenary (TPs) meetings are regularly scheduled events over the calendar year. Through this forum, oneM2M members have an opportunity to meet face-to-face to define the oneM2M technology roadmap, discuss and reach consensus on technical contributions towards the standard and test their oneM2M-based solutions with one another.
In this Executive Interview, Dale Seed, of Convida Wireless, shares his observations from the TP#39 event.

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Q. Where did the oneM2M TP#39 event take place and who hosted/sponsored the meetings?

DS The event took place from the week commencing February 18th in the lovely city of Malaga, Spain. It was hosted by ETSI and the EU funded "International Digital Cooperation - ICT Standardisation" (InDiCo) project.

The objective of the InDiCo project is to strengthen European cooperation with regards to the development of open international ICT standards in areas such as Internet off Things (IoT), 5G, Cloud computing, Big Data and Cyber Security. Contributing towards this objective, InDiCo was kind enough to support the oneM2M Partnership Project in hosting the TP#39 event with a goal

Q. What were the major work items focused on during the TP#39 meeting? 

DS The type of work we focused on during TP#39 was primarily split-up into two major categories. One dealt with work items for Release 4 of the standard and included proposals for new use cases and requirements, new oneM2M device data models, and new oneM2M feature enhancements. The second category dealt with market adoption activities.

oneM2M Release 4 has several work items in progress to add capabilities to the oneM2M service layer and to enable its deployment in more types of use cases. With so much market attention focused on connected and autonomous vehicles, one work stream deals with the Vehicular Domain (WI-0046). Here, the oneM2M service layer functions can assist a platoon of vehicles to communicate with one another by switching between different modes of connectivity along different segments of their journey.

There were several new work item proposals in other vertical domains as well. A priority for the Industrial Domain (WI-0075) is to develop a high-level strategy of how to map the OPC-UA information model, which is popular in many industrial deployments to the oneM2M information model. There was also a Railway Domain Enablement (WI-0092) contribution to specify additional informational elements (i.e. ModuleClasses) to the oneM2M Railway Domain information model being defined in Release 4.

Likewise, in the home environment, there will be additional enhancements to the Smart Device Template (SDT) (WI-0081). This is a device abstraction model for objects such as lights, door locks and it was initially designed by the Home Gateway Initiative and adopted for use in oneM2M starting in Release 2. In Release 4 it will be restructured and extended to become the "SDT based Information Model and Mapping for Vertical Industries".

With semantic interoperability becoming increasingly important in cross silo scenarios, the Semantic Enhancements (WI-0053) team accepted proposals to use oneM2M service layer functions to map different ontologies to one another. This enables the data described in one ontology to be consumed by applications that understand other types of ontologies.

Fog and Edge computing (WI-0080) is another important and emerging industry topic. In such deployment scenarios, the oneM2M service layer aims to identify individual types of services supported by a oneM2M service layer instance and for applications to request access to specific types of services upon registration to a oneM2M service layer instance.  Contributions were also accepted to study how the oneM2M service layer, which is hosted on edge nodes in the network, can interwork and access services within an underlying 3GPP network. This functionality lays the groundwork for the oneM2M service layer to support more advanced features needed for Fog and Edge based deployments of oneM2M. 

The central role of mobile networks in large scale IoT deployments is reflected under the 3GPP Interworking (WI-0058) area. This work item aims to enhance oneM2M's service layer ability to interwork to an underlying 3GPP network. This allows an application to subscribe and receive a notification that contains the number of oneM2M devices in different parts of a 3GPP operator's network. This functionality supports operations such as buffering or scheduling of requests to manage network congestion.

There are plans to expand the level of abstraction in the oneM2M service layer to accommodate users in addition to existing provisions to support applications. This is thanks to a contribution to the Service Subscribers and Users (WI-0083) work item which will enable user-based resource ownership, user-based statistics collection and user-based access control. 

Q. What progress has there been on market adoption?

DS TP#39 saw a strong number of contributions from members actively developing oneM2M products. This is great to see, since it shows that the oneM2M ecosystem of developers and implementations is growing and thriving. Our work in the TP is to make adoption as easy as possible. To that end, our work focuses on building and maintaining a suite of conformance test cases and profiles as well as building on our developer guides.

We are also planning future interoperability test events and fixing errata in the oneM2M specifications found by oneM2M developers from previous events and their own tests of the specifications. One of our members, the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) from India, reported some 20 errata from their inspections. Great job C-DOT! These types of contributions are essential and valued since they contribute to the success and maturation of the oneM2M standard. 

Another market adoption contribution was a new product profile definition. oneM2M product profiles provide guidance to which features need to be implemented for certain classes of products. They guide manufacturers and service providers looking to build, certify and deploy oneM2M solutions. At TP#39, a proposal for a new 3GPP Cellular IoT based oneM2M device profile was accepted. This profile is targeted at 3GPP devices that host a oneM2M Common Services Entity (CSE) or an Application Entity (AE).

There were discussions at TP#39 to plan the next oneM2M interop test event sometime in 2019.  Current possibilities are an event in Indonesia or, to collocate with an Autopilot (large scale pilot for autonomous vehicles in a connected environment) event in the EU.

Q. Can you give us an update on any collaboration / liaison activity between oneM2M and other organisations?

DS oneM2M has been very active in its outreach with other organisations. One of our major accomplishments has been to formalise a collaboration with the Global Certification Forum (GCF) who will manage a oneM2M certification programme.

In other areas, oneM2M and the ZigBee alliance will be defining a method for interworking ZigBee based devices/networks. The plan is for oneM2M to define an Interworking Proxy Entity (IPE) specification for ZigBee. This will be similar to the IPE specifications that oneM2M has defined for other technologies such as OCF and LWM2M.

Several oneM2M member companies are participating in the One Data Model Liaison Group initiative to share the work that oneM2M has done with other stakeholders. The goal is to share the great work on data modelling that oneM2M has been doing for the past few years.

We also continue to maintain close relationships with the mobile industry. At TP#39, oneM2M requested 3GPP to provide some enhancements to their T8 interface APIs that oneM2M uses to interwork with underlying 3GPP services. oneM2M and 3GPP have had a very constructive collaboration over the years and oneM2M plans to continue adding support in Release 4 to interwork with other 3GPP services and APIs. 

Additionally, oneM2M has opened discussions with two new industry bodies. During February, oneM2M participated in an introductory workshop with representatives from Plattform Industrie 4.0. Several potential next steps were identified with respect to interworking, data modelling and semantics with plans for the two organisations to explore this further in future meetings. Similarly, oneM2M held initial discussions with the China-based IoT Connectivity Alliance (ICA) to explore synergies and the possibility of a future collaboration together. 

Q. Tell us a bit about the recent structural changes made to the TP and how they are progressing.

DS TP#39 was the first TP in which the new restructuring of the oneM2M working groups took effect. The new restructuring has merged the six original working groups (REQ, ARC, SEC, MAS, PRO, TST) into three new working groups (RDM, SDS, TDE).

oneM2M organization slide Dec2018

The goal of the restructuring is to better align the organisation to connect with industry verticals so that industry requirements can be better understood while increasing the awareness and use of oneM2M in these verticals. The restructuring is also targeted at streamlining and optimising the flow of work in oneM2M. 

At TP#39, the new restructuring had an overall positive impact and feedback from TP#39 attendees was very favourable. Attendees reported that the restructuring made for more efficient technical discussions between the different technical thought leaders within oneM2M since fewer sessions were running in parallel. This enabled the organisation to group together architecture, protocol and security minded folks together which made for some productive technical sessions.  

Q. When and where is the next TP meeting?

DS TP#40 will take place from Monday, May 20, until Friday, May-24, 2019 in San Diego, CA, USA.