Vodafone connects BMW bike, makes India spectrum gains


BMW has installed a Vodafone IoT SIM card on its latest-model K1600 GT motorbikes, enabling emergency calls and automatic collision notifications in the event of accidents.

The vehicle manufacturer is providing the ConnectedRide service, which alerts a BMW call centre of accidents, as an option on K1600 GT bikes.

A Vodafone SIM card sits under the bike’s seat. Various sensors monitoring the bike’s speed, angle and location identify when and where it is involved in an accident, and trigger an emergency call across Vodafone’s networks in Europe to BMW, which can either alert the emergency services or contact the driver via the bike’s built-in audio system.

The rider can use an SOS button on the handlebars to contact the BMW call centre. BMW said the system allows rescue services to arrive at accident sites up to 50 percent faster.

Ivo Rook, Director of Internet of Things, at Vodafone said: “The first BMW motorcycle with the eCall system shows just how many possibilities there are for the internet of things. And this is just the beginning.”

Vodafone already provides connectivity to over 2.5 million BMW cars.

Last month, Vodafone ranked highest in Machina Research’s annual benchmark of IoT capabilities, ahead of AT&T, Verizon, Deutsche Telekom, Sprint/Softbank, Telefónica, Orange and Telenor.

Machina Research said in August it expected the global IoT market to reach $3 trillion by 2025.

Meanwhile, Vodafone India has acquired spectrum in all its key telecom circles, or service areas, in the local spectrum auction.

In total, it paid INR 202.8 billion (€2.74 billion), of which INR 101.4 billion (€1.36 billion) is due up-front, for 2 x 82.6 MHz FDD and 200 MHz TDD spectrum in the auction, providing 4G across the 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2500MHz bands.

Vodafone India now has 17 service areas with 4G capability, covering 91 percent of the company’s total revenues and 94 per cent of its mobile data revenues.