Rogers brings Sprint connected cars to Canada; Bell opens M2M business portal

30 Sep 2013

Canada’s Rogers Communications and US counterpart Sprint have formed a partnership to expand marketing of the ‘Sprint Velocity’ in-car infotainment and telematics solution from the US to Canada. Via the agreement, auto manufacturers deploying Sprint Velocity in Canada will leverage Rogers’ wireless networks for connected vehicles. Sprint Velocity is described as a comprehensive global end-to-end automotive systems solution designed specifically for vehicle manufacturers. Through mobile integration, Sprint Velocity allows automakers around the world to develop and market connected vehicle services including infotainment (news, weather, sports, etc), navigation, climate control, security, emergency services and vehicle diagnostics with an in-dashboard touch screen, while also providing connectivity for mobile devices in the vehicle including smartphones and tablets.

According to research quoted by the Rogers-Sprint press release, nearly 100 million connected cars will be on the road worldwide by 2016, while the release cites another study which says the automotive and transport sector will have the highest share of connectivity-related revenue by 2021, driven by the increasing adoption of consumer connected car solutions.

Earlier this month, Rogers surpassed over one million Machine-to-Machine (M2M) connections, and is looking to form more strategic network and partner agreements to capitalise on growth opportunities across key vertical sectors including automotive, healthcare, retail and managed services.

Not to be left out, Rogers’ Canadian rival Bell has announced the launch of its new ‘Bell M2M Management Centre’ secure online portal which it says offers Canadian businesses a comprehensive suite of tools to manage connected devices across their operations. The Bell M2M Management Centre was developed in collaboration with Swedish technology provider Ericsson and enables Bell’s business customers to view, administer and control network-connected devices through a single interface, with the aim of improving their operational efficiency while reducing costs. Nauby Jacob, Bell Mobility’s VP of services, products and content, said: ‘Canadian businesses of all kinds are connecting their remote meters, tracking tools and other devices on [Bell’s] networks … M2M Management Centre makes these connected machines more manageable and more productive for our customers,’ and added, ‘The number of M2M connections in Canada is expected to nearly double to 3.6 million by 2016, and tools like the M2M Management Centre maximize efficiency in managing large portfolios of devices.’ Bell currently serves customers in the automotive, transportation, utilities/energy, security, healthcare and government sectors with M2M solutions including asset tracking, fleet management, wireless backup connectivity, wireless point of sale, remote monitoring, telematics and digital signage.

M2M can be defined as the flow of data, without the need for human interaction, between network connected devices, of which there are a wide range in various sectors – for example vehicle tracking devices, vending machines, billboards, energy meters, hydro systems or parking meters.