Deutsche Telekom and BMW launch in-car high speed internet across Europe

- Technology - Jul 26, 2016

Leading German telecoms and car making companies DT and BMW are joining forces to connect mobile devices and cars.

As of this month, users of BMW ConnectedDrive can now book a Wi-Fi hotspot using Deutsche Telekom's HotSpot Drive portal. The mobile hotspot makes it possible to connect up to 10 Wi-Fi-enabled devices to the high-speed Internet at the same time, without any need for them to have their own SIM cards.

Once set up, the system lets users surf across borders all over Europe – and even further afield. Depending on their needs, they can choose from among various different data passes and acquire them with ease after completing a one-time login process. The offering was developed in cooperation with BMW ConnectedDrive. The moving Wi-Fi hotspot was first integrated into new BMW 7 series models in October 2015. Other models are soon to follow.

The Wi-Fi hotspot is not the only way Deutsche Telekom is hitting the road at high speed. Starting this summer, Deutsche Telekom will be fitting BMW ConnectedDrive systems with LTE technology. A wide variety of services will be provided in BMW vehicles via ConnectedDrive, making car journeys both safer and more enjoyable. There's now a fast data connection available for the solution in more than 50 countries using mobile telephony.

Reinhard Clemens, member of the Deutsche Telekom Board of Management and T-Systems CEO said: "What we're doing is taking the best network and putting it inside the car. Telecommunication and IT are now providing the basic technology for digitisation of the motor vehicle. As an experienced automotive industry partner, we are proud to be part of this cooperative initiative."

For the first time, an eSIM is now permanently embedded into the cars. Once installed, it can be updated from outside over the air whenever required. Deutsche Telekom sees the eSIM card as a substantial opportunity and has been heavily involved for many years in international committees dedicated to developing an open eSIM standard.

eCall now for motorbikes too

An LTE mobile communications module providing the necessary connectivity is now set to make travel on BMW motorbikes even safer. Under the name BMW Motorrad ConnectedRide, the system will in the future make connected services available on the motorbike's central display to optimize the way journey-related data is presented to motorbike riders. The relevant networking technologies will be developed jointly as part of the partnership with Deutsche Telekom.

In combination with a navigation system, it is also possible that the system might give advance warning of any tailbacks hidden behind a curve in the road, for example, or provide other safety-related information. From 2017, BMW motorbikes will be offering an eCall system for the first time. Just as with BMW cars, if a motorbike accident should occur, data relevant to the emergency services are sent to the BMW call center to help them take appropriate action. On top of this, a voice connection with the driver makes it possible to pass on further essential information on the situation immediately.

Read the July EURO 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine. 

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