Earlier this month, the EU signalled its favour for wi-fi connectivity over cellular technologies (such as cellular vehicle-to-everything, for example) for supporting connected cars. MWC organiser the GSMA condemned the move, commenting that the EU’s preference of “outdated” technology “deals a blow to 5G rollout plans across Europe.”
The EU has made some fantastic moves for furthering a digital, connected continent – Roam Like at Home being a prime example. With much connected car technology on show at last month’s MWC19 Barcelona, the wi-fi/automotive ruling would have been a hot topic of conversation – had the decision been announced earlier!
MWC19 Barcelona now seems like a distant memory; in fact, BICS is already busy planning for the GSMA’s next event – MWC Shanghai – as well as a string of others we’re attending between now and June. However, there’s still time for some important reflection on Barcelona and the connected car sector, especially in light of the GSMA’s response to the EU’s recent legislation.
BICS talks enterprise IoT
With infrastructure that connects more than 700 mobile networks globally, BICS carries 25% of the world’s roaming traffic and over 50% of its data roaming traffic, meaning we’re uniquely positioned to serve MVNOs, MNOs and large enterprises embarking on IoT initiatives, at huge scale. Following a successful MWC panel appearance last year, Mikaël Schachne, VP Mobility and IoT, was in front of the camera yet again in February, talking to Mobile World Live about the company’s global reach and the support of large-scale enterprise IoT projects.
The automotive industry is a prime example, with a connected car market worth an estimated $72.95 billion in 2017, a figure expected to reach $280.36 billion by 2026. Reliable, secure, consistent, always-on, global connectivity is absolutely crucial; something which can be achieved by embedding connectivity at the point of manufacture. Our SIM-for-Things enables just this, offering one platform, one SIM, and one commercial interface.
Fueling the connected car industry
Embedding connectivity in every vehicle in a fleet during the manufacturing process will enable automotive companies to then ship the vehicles to multiple markets across the world, without the need to establish direct agreements with every operator in every region through which it will travel. Offering solutions and manged services such as these will allow car manufacturers (and companies in other vertical sectors which are not connectivity and telecoms experts) to become part of the IoT revolution. This approach will also help hasten time-to-market and accelerate progress in the connected car sector.
At MWC19 Barcelona, our spokespeople managed to steal a few moments away from the BICS stand to wander the halls of the Fira and track down some flashy connected car technology. One such example was BMW’s Natural Interaction, which features voice command technology, gesture control and gaze recognition to allow drivers to interact with the vehicle.
This is simply one example of a project in action, and the kind of potential use case our SIM-for-Things is ideally suited to. The solution is industry- and platform-agnostic, meaning the same benefits can be enjoyed by the full range of vertical sectors – and their end-users – from healthcare, logistics and wearables, to manufacturing, security and insurance.
Of course, the connected car industry is a global one; with developments in automotive tech from every corner of the world expected at MWC Shanghai later this year. While it’ll be interesting to gauge Europe’s reaction on the aforementioned EU decision, it’s also worth remembering that the telecoms’ industry’s aim, like BICS’, is to enable global, reliable, accessible connectivity.