Sunday, 6 October 2013

Why would cars need SIM cards - they don't!!

I was reading about the Audi A3 getting LTE (G4 data) connectivity using local SIM cards in the car.  It immediately struck me as complete madness.  Already cars use bluetooth to enable our phones to do voice calls to others.  Why would we do it differently for data.   Well it appears Audi and some other car manufacturers think this is a viable option and of course the operators/carriers would love to sell more SIM cards.  Well they've got as far as releasing the car, but I just don't think its going to go very far.  Of course it is possible for a machine to have a SIM card to enable data connectivity.  For example a lift might have a SIM card to tell its service engineers it needs to be repaired.  However, when a machine always has a human involved and that human is likely to have a phone with bluetooth then there is no need to a separate SIM card.  Of course it assumes the phone has a bluetooth connection and it has been paired with the car, but you do this to enable voice calls.  There is no technical reason why the same paired connection could not be used for an Internet connection...

So  in the Internet of Things there is no need for each device to have a SIM card.  In fact the economics are such that this is highly unlikely as operator contracts are relatively expensive.  The internet of things will be made up of  devices which communicate using bluetooth and wifi to central internet connected hubs; these hubs will have a data contract associated with them.  Where the hubs are related to a user they are likely to be that user's phone.

  


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