Automaker Tata Motors Ltd has teamed up with state-owned telecommunications company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) in a bid to make its cars smart or connected, The Economic Times reported.
According to the report, the partnership will entail BSNL supplying machine-to-machine (M2M) SIM cards, which will be embedded in Tata Motors' cars such as Tiago, Hexa and Harrier to make them smart or connected.
“We have partnered Tata Motors for embedded SIM-card functionality. A total of 500,000 SIM cards have been provided and another one million will be supplied in a year,” BSNL chairman Anupam Shrivastava was quoted as saying.
Shrivastava expects the telco to sell over 50 million M2M SIM cards, with 5G-ready capabilities, over the next year, mainly in home-automation and automobile sectors.
He also expects that each of the M2M SIM cards will earn the telco Rs 20 per month, clocking a revenue of Rs 1,200 crore annually.
Interestingly, in an interview with TechCircle, Tata Motors chief technology officer Rajendra Petkar had said that the company was working on connected car technologies to offer advanced connectivity features as part of its autonomous vehicle programme.
"We, at Tata Motors, understand the need for a connected ecosystem that can integrate into the digital lives of customers. With the aim to develop and innovate technologically-leading products that excite customers, we are working with technology partners, to bring the digital lives of our customers into the cars they drive," Petkar had said.
The Economic Times report also quoted telecommunications leader at EY, Prashant Singhal, as saying that telecom companies are now looking at various segments in automotive and transport to create new revenue streams.
“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 was quoted as saying.