Faster device launches, reduced device install times and cross-platform compatibility are a few of the benefits mobile operators and device manufacturers can experience when incorporating the mobile broadband interface model on their devices. Microsoft has adopted the standard in all of their Windows 8 devices and although we are now seeing evidence of these benefits in the market, the industry has a long way to go.
What’s next? Beyond the smartphone, tablet and embedded laptop are players in the mobile ecosystem who are investing in telemetry, telematics, smart health devices and “connected home” products. The incorporation of MBIM in current and upcoming product development provides built-in cost savings across mobile broadband product lines.
What is MBIM?
MBIM is a networking solution for USB-based mobile broadband devices and embedded modems. Essentially, it standardizes the transport of device control and IP frames using a single, logical USB interface. Previously, USB devices that contained multiple functions had to expose each of those functions through a separate USB interface. For example, a broadband device might have separate interfaces for controlling connectivity, IP traffic, device management, GPS and diagnostics.
Extending the OS
Extensibility mechanisms for MBIM-enabled devices allow developers to augment (not replace) functionality supported by the operating system. MBIM extensions can be easily integrated without having to rewrite connectivity applications, middleware SDKs or device drivers.
Benefits across platforms and form factors
While Windows 8 was the first OS to use MBIM, the new standard can be supported on other PC and mobile platforms. With MBIM class drivers, OEMs and operators can leverage their investment in MBIM devices across legacy Windows operating systems, such as Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP, as well as Mac OS X and Linux to reduce implementation and support costs for managing multiple hardware platforms and operating systems. M2M products with MBIM can also benefit from the reduction of re-engineering and associated costs.
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