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Why do MNOs need a SCEF? New SCEF-Gateway solution from Partitionware helps MNOs scale and protect IoT services.

3GPP’s SCEF function provides new mechanisms for the secure, scalable deployment of IoT devices, as well as a simple means of effecting data transfer from low-power IoT sensors. It’s expected to become an essential component of any IoT service, allowing MNOs and MVNOs to provide robust scalability and capitalise on Nb-IoT services.

Many MNOs (and MVNOs) are gearing up for the massive deployment of IoT devices and sensors. They believe there is a significant opportunity to grow revenue and to provide managed IoT services, both directly to companies across a wide range of sectors, as well as to enable connectivity services for third parties. They want to play a part in the so-called “massive IoT” market, which is expected to surge in value.

Many of these devices have low power requirements and need to be deployed for many years. They will typically connect to an optimised radio interface, such as Narrow Band IoT, or Nb-IoT, which uses licensed spectrum and is an optimised version of the existing LTE standards.

In these conditions, IP data transfer is not necessarily optimal, as it isn’t compatible with the low-power consumption requirements. As such, many IoT devices will use a specialised form of data transfer, known as NIDD, or Non-IP Data Delivery. This allows low-volume, but frequent transfers of data, so it’s ideal for many IoT applications. Even so, the sheer volume of devices means that there will be significant aggregate data flows to manage. And, a flood of new devices entering the network also represents a significant security risk, as it will dramatically increase the potential attack surface.

Recognising this, 3GPP defined a new functional entity, the SCEF or Service Capabilities Exposure Function. This performs several key tasks. First, it provides a gateway between remote IoT devices and the network, ensuring controlled and managed data flows between IoT applications and the serving equipment. Second, it enables security by controlling access to and from remote devices. As such, it’s a critical infrastructure component for any MNO or MVNO that seeks to really grow their IoT business. Put simply, it will be indispensable if they intend to succeed with IoT services and connectivity offers.

However, not all MNOs and MVNOs will be able to deploy their own SCEF. As a result, Partitionware has released a hosted and managed SCEF solution that can be used by providers to enable the secure, scalable connectivity they need, in order to offer IoT services. It meets 3GPP requirements and provides RESTful APIs for connectivity to IoT applications and platform solutions, allowing them to easily deliver enhanced connectivity, control and security for a growing range of IoT capabilities.

Partitionware’s unique managed service partnership model means that MNOs and MVNOs can quickly capitalise on the hosted SCEF capabilities, helping them to realise the potential of IoT markets. Learn more about Partitionware’s Service Capability Exposure Function gateway solution.

If you would like to add new levels of security to your IoT offers, why not get in touch?

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