Under a five-year agreement between BMW and Vodafone Germany, new cars will be fitted with the SIM cards at the assembly plant. The cards use machine-to-machine technology that allows different devices to communicate with each other.
The BMW models equipped with the cards will be able to automatically dial emergency services in the event of a crash and advise drivers of traffic jams and how to avoid them.
Vodafone, one of Europe’s largest mobile communications groups, noted that this kind of connectivity will become even more important when the European Union introduces its eCall automatic vehicle emergency calling system in 2015. The plan calls for all new cars to be fitted with the latest mobile data connectivity.
With mobile operators battling for a share of the market for automotive connectivity, the agreement with a premium carmaker such as BMW is important for Vodafone.
Said Jan Geldmacher, who heads the business customer division of the mobile operator: “With this agreement we position ourselves in the high-growth automotive sector, one of the key markets for M2M communication.”