Having successfully deployed connectivity services for several market leaders in Europe, such as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Jaguar Land Rover, ranging from vehicle manufacturers to service providers, Transatel, a member company of NTT Group, has launched IoV Connect, a global cellular connectivity platform specifically designed for the sector of motorized vehicles.
Available as of today in PaaS (platform as a service) mode, the platform is dedicated to solving vehicle manufacturers’ greatest challenges currently not being addressed by the market. Transatel says that the platform’s first key differentiator is MNO 9mobile network operator) selection at network-level. Any addition, removal, change of host radio network anywhere in the world is programmed at network level and thus implemented instantaneously, not requiring complex Over-The-Air SIM profile update campaigns.
The second key differentiator is end-user management, for which most connected car platforms come unequipped. Leveraging on Transatel’s 20+ years’ experience in launching mobile B2C offers around the world, IoV Connect offers the professional tools, insights and expertise to cover all aspects of pricing, marketing, billing, customer experience, customer care and regulatory compliance.
Last, IoV Connect offers a fully re-brandable service for onboard Wi-Fi and infotainment, complete with marketing and end-user support services: Ubigi.
Requiring but a single integration to cover the world (160+ countries to date), IoV Connect caters to vehicle manufacturers wishing to avoid the cost and/or complexity of multiple integrations with Mobile Network Operators.
Most existing IoV platforms are feature-rich but rely on the aggregating of multiple MNO profiles. As a vehicle manufacturer, you therefore still need a Service Agreement with the MNO in question. In the case of IoV Connect, Transatel is the MNO. Manufacturers no longer need to sign Service Agreements with Mobile Network Operators, simply Access Agreements, which greatly reduces complexity. Moreover, manufacturers benefit out-of-the-box from 160+ Access Agreements already bundled into the IoV Connect platform.
With most existing connected car platforms, manufacturers deciding on a change in Mobile Network Operator or a feature update must rely on costly (€0.60 to €1/SIM) Over-The-Air campaigns to reconfigure the SIM profiles inside their vehicles. Any inaccessible vehicles, such as garage-parked, or cars in motion, etc., will need to proceed physically to the dealership for a SIM profile update, with all that this entails.
With a configuration at network level, any switching of underlying host radio networks, or any new connected vehicle feature developed, is instantly and seamlessly made available to vehicles across continents. The process, remaining perfectly transparent for the end user, leaves a lot of room for innovation at every turn.
Transatel has long been concerned with Security for the IoT and has developed a system for airtight connectivity. IoV Connect has therefore been modeled considering the critical factor of security for vehicles, and this, at three levels.
- First, as a licensed operator without spectrum, Transatel has its own non-geographic MNC (Mobile Network Code). The underlying resources used are therefore inaccessible from the exterior. For example, in the typical case of hacking with a massive brute-force attack via SMS, the only SMS accepted by the vehicle are those from the OEM’s authorized servers. The unwanted SMS can’t even reach the authentication process and therefore drain the vehicle’s battery in the process.
- Second, all the software and firmware updates are not conducted via the internet.
- Third, IoV Connect SIM profiles are embedded with security keys for authentication purposes, to further shield vehicles from unwanted intrusions. Of course, IoV Connect is compatible with any form of additional security processes and add-ons desired by the manufacturer.
IoV Connect’s security solution protects against threats and cyberattacks with a full set of services:
- A secure architecture for Data and SMS: Private APN, vehicle isolation, public non-exposure, certified architecture.
- Global security functionalities on the architecture: Threats analysis, traffic filtering, SMS firewalling.
- TAC/IMEI lock
Caught between the GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft) who control the apps, and the MNOs who control the connectivity, vehicle manufacturers are understandably trying to secure their share of the revenue created with the increasing use of apps within their vehicles.
Acting as an abstraction layer to MNO networks, IoV Connect enables OEMs to reap a share of the value generated from the connectivity services offered within their vehicles (whether from telematics, infotainment, or Wi-Fi on board). Manufacturers can also monetize the data collected and the access/visibility to their end users.
Last, IoV Connect enables manufacturers to retain their independence and bargaining power vis à vis MNOs and thus control their connectivity service and financial equation.
I’m excited about this launch, because it’s the result of years of observation and exchanges with the industry, and years of hard work from Transatel teams. IoV Connect can turn any complex, global Connected Car project, into a manageable enterprise with clear milestones and beneficial outcomes. By making things simple and global by design, we help manufacturers focus on their core activities and gain global economies of scale. We intend to prove that our platform for the Connected Car, both industry-specific and fully managed, is the safest option, and the most scalable and cost-effective business model for auto manufacturers, right up until they’re ready to become fully licensed telecom operators themselves!—Bertrand Salomon, Transatel Co-CEO