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EMEA: Connected car connects automotive and telecoms

Audi Electronics Ventures and Cubic Telecom have announced a strategic partnership inclusive of a $20.3 million investment. Yet another example of telecommunications and the automotive industry joining hands to further the vision of the connected car.

Let’s start by taking a look at who these two companies are. Audi Electronics Ventures is a wholly owned subsidiary of Audi AG that was developed in 2001 to provide more leverage in innovation with a goal to “innovate the network.” It is basically an investment arm that looks for new functions and software for cooperation and investment opportunities that will ultimately impact Audi vehicles, allowing for the acceleration of development cycles for the organization.

CubicCubic Telecom, on the other hand, while a company you may not have heard of, is backed by some industry heavyweights. Based in Dubin, Ireland, it is a cloud-based machine-to-machine connectivity platform provider with solutions aimed at “Internet of Things” and enterprise customers. It seems the view that a car is basically a “big thing” holds true here. Qualcomm and Sierra Wireless are two of the key investors, and these names are certainly well known. Currently known for their work in retail and PC OEMs such as Hewlett-Packard, they actually enable over-the-air updates for the automotive industry as well for infotainment, location-based services, telematics services and vehicle software.

Cubic’s core network supports the following technologies and features:

  • Data GGSN.
  • Voice and SS7 to VoIP (SIP).
  • Multi IMSI, multi number HLR.
  • Online charging, rating and billing.

The company also supports a network operations center and SIM functionality to support multiple operator agreements and ensure local data rates. It currently supports over 300 API’s. Cubic’s technology is embedded at the manufacturing stage.

The most recent investment is earmarked for use to enhance the global footprint by continuing to develop its software platform and expand its global connectivity network. Quotes from the executive leadership of both companies show the commitment to a “connected future” for the connected car between the two industries.

Peter Steiner, head of AEV, explained the goal of the partnership: “Audi and Cubic Telecom are strong development partners of connected infotainment solutions and intend to connect the models of the Audi brand even better with its environment and the Internet in the future.”

Barry Napier, CEO of Cubic Telecom, notes: “The automotive industry is changing faster than ever, and connectivity in the car is at the heart of it. With this partnership, Cubic and Audi will work together on a wide range of future connectivity applications.”

Although the two industries may not always see eye to eye on the role of the telecommunications operator in the connected car – dumb pipe or value-added service provider – it seems the recognition that they must find a way to continue to get closer together is reinforced by this investment.

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Claudia Bacco, Managing Director – EMEA for RCR Wireless News, has spent her entire career in telecom, IT and security. Having experience as an operator, software and hardware vendor and as a well-known industry analyst, she has many opinions on the market. She’ll be sharing those opinions along with ongoing trend analysis for RCR Wireless News.

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