5 Apr 2014

Tesla Pays Telefonica To Power In-Car Wireless in Europe

By Ingrid Lunden at TechCrunch:

Those with a sharp eye who visited the Geneva motor show or who own a Model S in Europe may have already noticed a connection between Telefonica and Tesla by way of the “car connected by Telefonica” signs on the sides of cars, or through the in-car navigation system that played Spanish ads. Now the two are making it official: Telefonica says that it will be providing the wireless connectivity for Tesla cars across the UK, Germany, Netherlands and Spain, covering telematics and infotainment services.

This is not the first carrier deal for Tesla in Europe; in November 2013 it announced a deal with Telia Sonera for the carrier to power in-car systems in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia and Latvia.

But Telefonica tells me it is likely the biggest in terms of geographical footprint and customers: Tesla paid Telefonica “millions” to seal the deal, a spokesperson tells me.

It follows another, similar carrier deal Tesla inked with AT&T in January of this year.

In terms of how it will work for users, it is not unlike Amazon’s Kindle service: users get a wireless connection as part of their purchase of the item (in this case a car), without having to sign a separate contract for that connection. The service is powered by Jasper and will provide the Internet connectivity for various in-car “infotainment” and telematics, including navigation, streamed music, Internet browsing and remote vehicle diagnostics.

Read the full story >>

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