T-Mobile Poland has introduced Smart Car Business, a service to help drivers and fleet owners manage vehicle data. The service involves a device connected to the OBD-II port in cars and an app called T-Mobile Tracker that allows users to views data collected from up to 24 vehicles.
Smart Car Business enables business owners to know the location of their vehicles, have access to trip history (with the ability to export the data to a file) and set notifications such as about speeding by the driver, leaving a pre-defined zone, accidents or low battery.
The device also works as a Wi-Fi hotspot. The Smart Car Business service includes 20 GB of data a month and 1 GB of roaming within the EU. Business customers using Magenta Biznes can use internet without data limits. The device costs PLN 19.00 (US $5.00) with VAT and the monthly subscription is PLN 35.00 (US $9.21); customers of Magenta Biznes pay PLN 30.00 (US $7.90) a month. A minimum contract of 24 months is required.
The connected-car sector of the mobile market is growing significantly, both in size and in sophistication. While AI-powered driverless-car stories get a lot of play in the media, more everyday applications that are less revolutionary have a lot of potential for revenue in a wide variety of markets, not only the most advanced.
The use of a monitoring device connected to a car along with a tracking app is a fairly straightforward application of the IoT and can be extremely useful to a diverse group of businesses, from taxi fleets to trucking. Getting easy-to-view access to real-time data seems as if it would be highly desirable to business owners seeking to keep on top of what their vehicles are doing and when. The Wi-Fi hotspot feature makes the device double as a source of connectivity for the drivers, so that there is benefit on both sides of the equation.
As for the operator, there is clear benefit in terms of revenue, to begin with—mainly from selling the service packages but also, of course, from data usage—but beyond that, what we see here is an operator positioning itself outside the traditional parameters of an MNO. By designing Smart Car Business, T-Mobile Poland is enhancing its brand by making itself appear cutting-edge in terms of technology, by catering directly to the needs of its enterprise customers and by entering a market sector that is mainly occupied by non-telecoms. A connected-car venture such as this, apparently launched without even needing an outside technology partner, gives distinction and relevance to the operator that offers the service.