Carmakers and mobile network operators need to work together, Globetouch senior vice-president Nitin Karmarkar tells Paul Myles.
Q: How can mobile network operators (MNOs) create vital new revenue streams through the intersection of mobile with other industries?
“The Internet of things is undoubtedly driving a convergence of industries, which is enabling MNOs to access a wide range of exciting markets. Taking the connected car as an example, the prevailing connected car model based on tethering of users’ smartphones is currently being held back by its one major flaw – the cost of mobile data, especially abroad. Usually customers pay through their cellular plan, which is neither attractive nor sustainable, as services expand and generate more data. These prohibitive costs have deterred users from deploying connected car services, making it impossible for consumers to unlock the full benefits of smart vehicles and limiting revenue prospects for MNOs.
“However, through deploying a single, global SIM solution, which follows the driver wherever they choose to go, it’s possible to offer cost-efficient mobile broadband wherever it is available from a local MNO. In this way, customers can be provided with the reassurance they need to make full use of their connected car services, while steering clear of any data bill-related shock, and enhancing connectivity revenues for MNOs.”
Q: How can carmakers introduce roaming capabilities to overcome a key barrier to widespread adoption of connected cars?
“The market potential for connected cars is enormous, with the global connected car marker forecast to grow threefold and be worth €39Bn (£34Bn) by 2018. This will be compounded by the EU’s mandated emergency alert system, eCall, which must be installed in all cars and light vans from March 2018, and requires both 3G/4G communications on board.
“The most crucial factor that can help the connected car take off, is cross border roaming; seamless international access to communications services from all locations, especially in regions such as Europe and parts of Asia Pacific, where many journeys cover more than one country.Currently, many car owners are deterred from using connected car capabilities owing to the high cost of mobile data, especially when out of their home country. Asingle SIM solution can employ a collaborative ecosystem of operators with local rates and device manufacturers and high volume data can be offered at an attractive price point, eliminating costly roaming charges for connected cars. Connected car manufacturers can then incorporate mobile data into their charging models, whether this involves a premium to customers, or is bundled with their connected car package. This also solves supply chain challenges for OEMs, enabling them to build and ship cars anywhere in the world, granting access to valuable new markets.”
Q: Who can crack the nut of connected cars having to operate with patchy connectivity?
“Both OEMs and MNOs need to overcome barriers to adoption imposed by poor or patchy connectivity. This way they can provide not just the mobile connectivity but also control over quality of service, as well as analytics, by exploiting their view of the network and end client device. Mobiles can be integrated with GPS to provide continuous navigation for cars while enabling roaming in most areas where cellular connectivity is available. MNOs can also play a role with emerging peer-to-peer vehicle connectivity, which can help overcome cellular dead zones and also provide early warning of accidents. Furthermore, they can help integrate the car into connected lifestyles, enabling portable identities with virtual keys, access to subscribed content or service from the car etc., and support Wi-Fi for in-car communications including hands free functions.”