Germany: Vodafone Germany has announced a five-year in-car telematics deal with BMW to fit all its vehicles with mobile special machine-to-machine SIM card. The Vodafone SIM will sync with the BMW ConnectedDrive telematics system, enabling customers with access to innovative in-car services such as the BMW Online Services, a 24/7 personal concierge service for BMW drivers, traffic updates and an emergency call function. The Vodafone (London) SIM has a lifespan of more than ten years, with an ability to withstand temperatures from minus 40 to heat of 85 degrees centigrade and is coated with anti-corrosive protection. The five-year agreement between Vodafone Germany and the BMW Group comprises fitting SIM cards within the vehicles at the assembly plant. The service being provided by Vodafone is based on machine-to-machine technology, which permits different devices to communicate with each other.
Jan Geldmacher, CCO for Enterprise at Vodafone Germany stated that Vodafone’s services assists networked driving and offers a driving experience that goes far beyond conventional mobility. The partnership with BMW positions the company in the lucrative automotive sector, one of the key M2M communication markets, and provides a platform for Vodafone to effectively demonstrate its global competence. Vodafone opined that in coming years, this technology will become even more crucial for the automotive sector with the introduction of ‘eCall’ – the automatic vehicle emergency call system in that is being planned by the European Union. According to sources, from 2015 onwards, the EU wants all new cars to be equipped with eCall technology that will automatically call the emergency services post an accident.