Connected Car: Why Car OEMs Are The Next Telcos?

From product (car) to services (VAS): it all depends on mobile capabilities…

Soon, car buyers will no longer be choosing their model solely based on price, design, and brand. They’ll factor in the value of the vehicle’s ecosystem of services and related apps. If you remember, ten years ago, no one could imagine the number of apps we’d be using with our shiny new smartphones. Nor how this would determine our choice of phones. Well, the same is true of the automotive market today.

No one can exactly predict the importance these apps will have in our daily lives, but there is one thing auto manufacturers do know: to ensure data security and the variety of services envisaged, it’s crucial for them to control the core network to which their applicative servers will be connected.

By dissociating network service level and radio network, car OEMs integrate only once to deploy worldwide

Global, listed automotive players with strong brands need to project consistency in their branding, services and customer experience all over the world. The task is almost beyond reach when using a variety of MNOs’ (Mobile Network Operators) core networks and management platforms in different regions of the world. The MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) model, when correctly deployed worldwide, allows for this consistency by enabling the same connectivity services at the core network level, while simply changing the radio access in different regions of the world.

Further value in controlling the core network 

The growing amount of data traffic, which may soon become a significant part of a car OEM’s total purchasing costs, explains why it’s strategic to establish from the get-go a network-agnostic solution. Car manufacturers must let competition work for them by putting a downward pressure on airtime prices, the way it does for other car components. However, the switch from one environment to another, which amounts to a complex and costly integration project, is an impediment.

Again, the MVNO model proves to be the right fit. Via MVNOs’ platforms, the relationship with MNOs (host Operators providing the airtime) all over the world is limited to the sole access to their radio network (via standard roaming interfaces). This gives car OEMs the possibility to master the service layer and easily swap one radio network with another, gaining some elbow room in a highly competitive market.

To learn more about strategic connectivity and its importance, join IoT – Connected Smart Cars and Vehicles Forum in Berlin. You can download full event agenda here.

By Jacques Bonifay – CEO at Transatel, Chairman at MVNO Europe








In November 2009, Jacques became President of Alternative Mobile, the French MVNO association made up of the country’s largest MVNOs, where he leads the association’s interests in relation to the French government and telecom regulatory authorities. Jacques was elected President of EAFM, the European Association of Full MVNOs in October 2012. Now re-named MVNO Europe, the group includes major European operators, such as Liberty Global, Telenet, PosteMobile, Cyta Hellas, Voiceworks, and El Telecom (NRJ Mobile). Jacques is guiding their lobbying efforts to
the European institutions. Before founding Transatel, Jacques had a career in the space industry at Airbus Group, and afterwards as a consultant for McKinsey & Co. at the Paris office. Jacques later headed Strategy & Business Development for the Professional & Consumer Division of Alcatel, where he initiated new businesses based on fixed mobile convergence and e-commerce with several operators. Jacques holds an MBA degree from INSEAD and an engineering degree from ENSERG/INPG (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Electronique et de Radioélectricité de Grenoble) – France.

About the author: BIS Group