Dude, where’s my car?
With live commercial consumer connected car offerings, called Telia Sense, in Sweden and Denmark, enabled by partner Springworks, Telia is making substantial commitments to IoT applications and services. Jens-Peter Meesenburg, the head of global IoT verticals at Telia, tells George Malim why it has targeted connected cars and how he sees the company developing further IoT opportunities in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer IoT.
IoT Now: Why have you selected the connected cars sector as an early area for Telia to target in IoT?
Jens-Peter Meesenburg: It’s very real for us, it’s more than just a product, it’s a proofpoint for executing on innovation, not just talking about it. It’s a big part of our strategy to become more than just a communications company. Connected car is a posterchild.
The way we went to market came about because we saw IoT in general as communication and communications is a commodity. If we want to make money in IoT, we need to take commercial bets and retrofitting connectivity to a car is an opportunity. We announced this before launch and the reason for that was to get into contact with the whole ecosystem.
This is important because you have to give the customers the service they are looking for. If you call Telia and we have a nice voice but we can’t really help to fix your car it’s not an attractive service so the partners are vital. In Sweden we’ve partnered with insurance company Folksam, the national vehicle inspection authority, parking provider EasyPark and roadside assistance firm Viking.
I’m also delighted that we’ve launched services in my home country, Denmark. There we’ve also partnered with EasyPark and Viking as well as the Alka Insurance company.
IoT Now: How have the launches gone?
J-PM: The launch has been a success in both countries and we’ve really moved the needle in terms of how people see the company. We don’t disclose the volumes of users but I can say we’ve started cautiously and it’s going as planned.
We chose to target connected cars because we did an evaluation of the Nordics as a whole. We have a higher number of connected devices per person than in the rest of the world and we have a population that has no problem with signing up for new services. We assessed the opportunities and saw there are eight million cars driving around with on-board diagnostic (OBD) ports.
IoT Now: How reliant on the OBD port are you? Isn’t the fact there’s typically only one OBD port in a vehicle a limiting factor?
J-PM: There is only one OBD port so there will be a battle for the OBD port. However, that gives us a valuable opportunity to orchestrate that access for lots of other industries. For example an insurance company spent more than five years trying to find a solution and build a business case [for connected car apps] but being able to share a platform with someone else who can deliver it makes the business case quite clear.
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