T-Mobile Targets Vehicle as the “Ideal Mobile Device”

INTERVIEW: The M2M market's share of mobile network connections is growing strongly – and is set to keep doing so. Angel Mercedes, business development manager for T-Mobile US, tells GPS Business News, about the potential for embedded car systems beyond 'safety, security and diagnostic'.

Angel Mercedes will be speaking in panel about the Latest Developments In-Dash, Connected Navigation at the Navigation Strategies USA conference organized by TheWhereBusiness on January 25-26, 2011 in San Jose.
Angel Mercedes is happy to explain that the past year has been a great one for T-Mobile's Machine-to-Machine (M2M) business in the US. Growth rates in 2010 year-on-year are expected to be 100% - the fifth consecutive year this has been achieved.

But the carrier's business development manager isn't alone in being able to enjoy the surge in activity in the M2M market. A recent report from analysts Berg Insight forecasts a doubling in the M2M sector's share of mobile network connections globally by 2015, when it will reach 294.1 million wireless connections.

The research points to a new market landscape where customers no longer have one or two mobile subscriptions, but up to five or more different wireless devices.

These will be for devices such as smartphones and tablets, but will increasingly include e-readers, connected PNDs, embedded car telematics systems and cellular home security alarms.

Other services such as smart electricity meters with embedded GPRS connectivity, cellular speed control warning systems and car telematics devices from insurance and finance companies will also become common.

T-Mobile Targets Vehicle as the “Ideal Mobile Device”
T-Mobile Targets Vehicle as the “Ideal Mobile Device”
Benefits of Bad Economy

The latter is an area where T-Mobile has seen great growth, according to Mercedes, particularly with telematics for “buy here, pay here” (BHPH) schemes for the sub-prime auto lending market.
He said these are for consumers that don't have good credit ratings and can be used by dealers if finance payments are missed.

“Where a used vehicle is purchased and the customer doesn't pay, the dealer can disable the engine,” he said. “That has been a great business for us. When the economy got bad that side of the business got even better because there were more people with financial problems.”

Mercedes said there is growing interest in uses such as BHPH or usage-based insurance – pay as you drive - for embedded platforms and the potential for others is vast.

“There are many, many applications once the embedded module is there and you have that connection to the data pipe,” he said.

“Usually they start with the safety, security and diagnostic because that's the one that the auto-makers can justify putting up there.

“Even if the customers aren't paying for the service, just having that connection there and having the ability to do all kinds of diagnostics and check what's going on with the vehicle, that's worth it for the OEM.”


Wednesday, January 12th 2011
David Montgomery

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