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Broadly speaking, the Internet of Things (“IoT”) refers to the billions of physical devices around the world that are now connected to the internet, collecting and sharing data.
As potential security concerns rise about IoT devices, governments around the world are looking to regulate IoT. By issuing its IoT Regulatory Procedures (“IoT Procedures”) which cover the procedure for registration for an IoT service, the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (“TRA”) has recently implemented its IoT Regulatory Policy (“IoT Policy”).
Although the IoT Policy was issued in 22 March 2018, it had not to come into effect until the TRA issued its IoT Procedures on 6 March 2019 and subsequently published them, as the IoT Procedures were necessary to operationalise the implementation of the IoT Policy.
The IoT Policy is intended to allow IoT services to develop in the UAE in a coordinated, coherent, safe and secure manner. The IoT Policy applies to all persons concerned with IoT in the UAE, including but not limited to (1) Licensed telecommunications service providers (i.e. Etisalat and du); (2) IoT Service Providers (as defined in the IoT Policy) and (3) IoT Service users including individuals, businesses and the government.
Key features of the IoT Policy include:
The registration procedure for a IoT Service under the IoT Procedures is broadly as follows:
What is a fundamental threshold issue is whether any particular services that connects to internet is an IoT Service under the IoT Policy? The IoT Policy formally defines IoT very broadly as “a global infrastructure for the information society, enabling advanced services by interconnecting (physical and virtual) things based on existing and evolving interoperable information and communication technologies”.
This appears to refer to more than just machine to machine (M2M) connectivity, and may need determination by the TRA on a case-by-case basis.
A full overview of the IoT Policy can be found in our recently authored Law Update article, titled What’s Got Hot in the Internet of Things?
For more information or clarifications on the above, please do not hesitate to reach out to our TMT specialists:
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