Posted On : 28 Jan, 2019
India, January 28, 2019 : Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. has tied up with Tata Motors for a first-of-its-kind machine-to-machine (M2M) communications deal by which the state-owned telco will supply embedded SIM cards to transform the automaker’s vehicles into smart cars.
BSNL Chairman Anupam Shrivastava said, “We have already partnered with Tata Motors for embedded SIM functionality. Five lakh SIM cards were already provided while another 10 lakh will be supplied in a year’s time”, adding that the automaker wanted to use them for smart cars.
Shrivastava said the telco anticipated sales of 50 million M2M SIM cards with future-ready 5G capability over next year, mainly for the automobile and home automation sectors. In a year’s time, BSNL’s alliance will enable Tata Motors to convert its models such as Tiago, Hexa and the newly unveiled SUV Harrier into smart cars.
Shrivastava estimates the telco’s entry into the M2M space could acquire at least “Rs 20 a month per SIM, which would potentially translate into a sizeable Rs 1,200 crore revenue opportunity annually.”
M2M technology enables communication between wired and wireless devices using sensors and applications that can be deployed in new-age infrastructure projects such as smart transportation, smart cities, smart grids, smart homes and smart healthcare. BSNL, with over 113 million mobile subscribers, has been exploring new enterprise business opportunities in the wake of heightened rivalry in the sector.
M2M is slated help create a vibrant Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem, where cars, machines and home appliances can be plugged to the internet, providing the perfect springboard for 5G or fifth-generation networks to rapidly gain traction.
“Automotive and transport have been an early adopter of IoT and telcos are tapping the emerging revenue streams from fleet management, navigation and fuel management, infotainment and positioning services,” said Prashant Singhal, global telecommunications leader at EY.
Onward focus on innovative offerings for market differentiation and partnerships, he said, would be critical to monetise IoT potential. “With the right mix of enablers, telcos can go a long way in enhancing their play in the $4 billion IoT ecosystem by 2021,” Singhal said.
Experts said the arrival of smart cars will allow automakers to step up their game and offer superior consumer experience by unveiling new-age products with real-time connected features over a wireless network for traffic information, weather forecasts and even facial recognition. Car companies are also eyeing ultra-fast mobile data delivered over 5G networks to evolve, build and improve features.
India’s passenger vehicle market is dominated by Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Hyundai India and Mahindra & Mahindra, which collectively have a share of about 85%.
Mumbai-based Tata Motors sold 237,217 passenger vehicles in 2018, a growth of 24% over 191,107 vehicles sold in 2017.