Back in April, the automotive industry found itself divided over prospective plans to standardise connectivity for cars. The European Commission proposed plans for a Wi-Fi-based standard, which was backed by automotive manufacturers like Renault and Toyota. Others, such as Daimler and Ford, as well as telecoms players like Ericsson, Samsung and Deutsche Telekom, favoured the adoption of 5G to support the connected car ecosystem.
We’ve long championed the critical role of mobile in creating a secure, global, connected environment, and as it turned out, 21 EU Member States seem to agree with us! These countries (including automotive powerhouse Germany) voted against the original w-fi proposal, paving a new road for a connected car industry powered by the 5G mobile standard.
This news was celebrated by 5GAA (the 5G Automotive Association), a group of automotive, tech and telecoms companies, working together to ‘make transportation safer, greener, and more enjoyable’. Like us, 5GAA was at MWC19 Shanghai in June, where its members discussed advances in C-V2X (cellular vehicle-to-everything) technologies on a global scale.
Where does BICS feature in all of this? And how will connected transport not only be safer, greener and more enjoyable, but also present new revenue opportunities?
5G will mobilise connected vehicles and a whole host of other services
Why is 5G the best option for connected vehicles? Because of the volume of data and the range of services and technologies which will make up the connected car landscape. Mission-critical safety features like automated braking will need the kind of ultra-reliable low-latency connectivity that only 5G can deliver. Approaches like 5G network slicing will be needed to prioritise this kind of data traffic over less critical traffic, such as a passenger streaming a film on her mobile in the back seat.
With speeds of up to 10 times faster than 4G, and supporting around a million (vs 4,000) devices per square kilometre, 5G connectivity will underpin the autonomous cars of the future. This will bring new opportunities to vertical sectors like healthcare, insurance, retail, advertising, and banking, which will be able to harness the wealth of data collected from cars to develop, personalise and monetise new consumer services. Insurance providers for example, will be able to use data on where and how a car is being driven to create premium plans tailored to specific driving behaviour and activities, or obtain more accurate evidence for claims
In the meantime though, the current mixed environment (2G, 3G and 4G connectivity) is still vital for data transmission between cars and their environment, enabling services like navigation, in-car infotainment, remote diagnostics, and Europe’s eCall safety system.
Management of connectivity will drive profit
Connected cars and their associated services present huge monetisation opportunities for operators, manufacturers, end-users, and vertical sectors like insurance – but only if this connectivity is well-managed.
Vehicles will use around 4,000GB of data every day, according to one estimate. To extract value from this data, operators need to optimise their network for M2M connectivity and obtain the required licenses and roaming agreements to ensure uninterrupted connectivity, wherever a car is travelling. Manufacturers need a means of embedding connectivity in their vehicles, and an easy-to-implement platform to manage this fleet. Insurers need access to usage reports and other data associated with the vehicle, to develop insurance plans and assess risk.
Manufacturers will become the new telecoms players
BICS’ M2M-in-the cloud and SIM-for-Things solutions can be adopted by MNOs/MVNOs and automotive manufacturers to manage and monetise connected fleets. The virtualised platform is easy to manage and control and enables rapid connectivity on a global scale, meaning even the most traditional of car manufacturers can become leading names in telecoms!
We’ve already established roaming agreements with regions throughout the world, meaning that wherever drivers – or their cars – decide to go, connectivity will remain consistent and reliable.
When deployed on a global scale, 5G will present massive monetisation opportunities for the automotive and vertical sectors – as well as for the telco community.