Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

NTT DoCoMo becomes Tesla's connected cars partner for Japan

Iain Morris
June 12, 2014
Japanese telecoms giant NTT DoCoMo is to provide connectivity services in electric vehicles to be sold by Tesla in Japan.

The agreement will see the operator provide M2M connectivity and mobile communications support, allowing drivers of Tesla Model S cars to use in-car telematics for navigation, using high resolution maps, as well as online music and other infotainment services.

The cars come equipped with 17-inch touchscreens allowing users to access a range of internet-based services.

Tesla (Palo Alto, CA, USA) says the Model S car will go on sale in Japan in the summer.

NTT DoCoMo (Tokyo, Japan) claims it was chosen on the basis of its network coverage, particularly in downtown areas with skyscrapers as well as mountainous parts of the country.

The operator also claims to provide extensive support for corporate customers, while Tesla is said to have been impressed with its enterprise-tailored M2M platform – which supports centralized management of M2M communications inside Japan and overseas.

NTT DoCoMo says it is focusing more of its attention and resources on in-car infotainment telematics and intelligent transport systems.

Tesla has made the provision of in-car connectivity services a critical element of its growth strategy.

In October last year, the carmaker was revealed to have picked AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) as its US network partner, while Spain’s Telefonica (Madrid) struck a deal with Tesla in April to provide connectivity in Model S vehicles being sold throughout Europe.

Nevertheless, while operators and carmakers are collaborating on the rollout of connected car technology, they are also in competition for consumer spending on in-car data services.

AT&T has previously described the car as a “smartphone on wheels” and in May introduced a service allowing customers to add certain types of connected car to their wireless plans for an extra monthly fee of $10.
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