Vodafone today announced a new agreement with Volkswagen and Audi in Europe to provide automotive connectivity, starting with new Audi models from 2015.
An embedded SIM chip developed specifically for the automobile industry will feature in new vehicles, The Audi connect portfolio currently comprises in-car navigation, communications and infotainment services together with a WLAN Hotspot. In 2013, the Audi S3 was the company’s first model to integrate a 4G-capable infotainment system– enabling Vodafone customers to benefit from access to the Vodafone 4G network in their vehicles. The S3 with Audi connect will be on display on this year’s Vodafone CeBIT stand.
Chief Executive of Vodafone Machine-to-Machine, Erik Brenneis, said: “We are pleased to supply Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications to Volkswagen Group. As a result of this agreement, we will strengthen further our position in the automotive sector – one of the key markets for M2M communication. Our efficient mobile communications networks ensure that the networked car is becoming more and more widespread, including across European national borders”.
The global SIM will be widely installed in vehicles in future and will use the Vodafone network and global M2M service platform to provide customers with high-speed Internet access on the road. The SIM chip was specifically developed to meet the stringent quality requirements of the automobile industry and functions reliably at temperatures from -40° to +85° Celsius. The activation and service processes were designed by Vodafone and based on Volkswagen Group’s specific requirements.
The automotive industry already occupies a central position in the rapidly emerging M2M communications sector. One of the main driving forces is the planned EU-wide “eCall” emergency call system which automatically sends out a SOS in the event of a vehicle accident. In addition, an increasing number of people are interested in accessing online information services, music and videos through the electronic systems built into their vehicles: these communications and internet-based infotainment services also underpin a strong growth trend in the M2M communications sector.
With more than twenty years of experience, Vodafone is a world leader in the field of M2M communications. Operating on a worldwide basis, a team of 250 specialists looks after the needs of companies from all major branches of industry, from automotive, through the energy and the transport and logistics sectors. In the most recent M2M ranking published by analysts Analysys Mason, Vodafone claimed first place for the third year in succession.
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Vodafone is one of the world's largest mobile communications companies by revenue with approximately 419 million customers in its controlled and jointly controlled markets as of 31 December 2013. Vodafone has equity interests in telecommunications operations in nearly 30 countries and around 50 partner networks worldwide. For more information, please visit: www.vodafone.com.
About Vodafone Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications
Vodafone Machine-to-Machine (M2M) connects previously isolated machines or devices to the internet, delivering new functionality and enhanced services without the need for human intervention. Supported by more than 250 dedicated employees, Vodafone’s global M2M platform makes it easy for global businesses to manage centrally M2M deployments across multiple territories, with greater control and at a lower cost than previously possible.
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