Future BMW series vehicles will be fitted with a special Vodafone SIM chip which links BMW up to its vehicles.
This provides customers with access to innovative in-car services such as the BMW Online Services, a 24/7 personal concierge service for BMW drivers, and an emergency call function. The machine-to-machine (M2M) master services agreement has a five-year term and involves the implementation a significant number of SIM cards in the vehicles
Jan Geldmacher, CCO Enterprise at Vodafone Germany, commented, “Our services facilitate networked driving and provide a driving experience that goes far beyond conventional mobility. The cooperation with BMW positions us in the lucrative automotive sector, one of the key M2M communication markets, and enables us to effectively demonstrate our global competence.“
The automotive sector will open the door to the M2M market for Vodafone, a market that analysts say is likely to generate around EUR 9 billion in revenues in 2012. In the future, the automotive market will be even more significant for the M2M sector. One of the key drivers is “eCall“, the automatic emergency call system in vehicles that the EU is planning. From 2015 onwards, all new cars will be fitted with a SIM chip that automatically calls the emergency services in accident situations. Vodafone is a global organisation with around 200 experts which puts it in the optimum position to provide an even more extensive range of M2M services in future. Vodafone provides services via 70 wireless networks on five continents. Almost one fifth of all mobile phones worldwide are registered in one of these networks.
The Vodafone Global SIM that will be built into future vehicles satisfies the tough requirements in the automotive sector. It has a lifespan of more than ten years and can withstand temperatures of between minus 40 and 85 degrees centigrade. It also has special protection against corrosion and was specifically designed for production line manufacturing operations. The chip will be supplied on a call-off basis and Vodafone will manage the chip activation and service processes according to the car production plants’ specifications.
BMW is collaborating with Vodafone in certification and technical implementation procedures at the state-of-the-art Vodafone Test & Innovation Centre. The Test & Innovation Centre will be testing and certifying the hardware in various network scenarios and standard international network infrastructures so that BMW can maximise the availability of the ConnectedDrive services and optimise connection quality.