Car owners to drive demand for mobile networks

15 May 2007

Some 52 million machines will be connected to mobile networks in Europe by 2011, according to research by industry analyst firm Berg Insight.

This figure is based on the predicted annual growth of 43.2pc in the European uptake of mobile networks.

The number of machines on cellular or satellite wireless mobile-to-mobile connections at the end of 2006 totaled 8.5 million.

Energy meters constituted the largest area of growth in the mobile network, followed by motor vehicles, security alarms and point-of-sale (POS) terminals.

However, by 2011 motor vehicles are predicted to become the biggest sector, accounting for over 60pc of mobile enabled machines.

“In the coming years we expect that the European automobile manufacturers will accelerate the market growth rate by introducing GSM/GPS emergency call devices as a standard safety feature,” said Tobias Ryberg, senior analyst with Berg Insight.

Already several automobile manufacturers in the US, including General Motors, offer crash-notification devices installed in their cars, aided by GPS.

Contributing to the predicted surge in motor vehicles joining the mobile network is the European Commission’s plan to make it mandatory that all new cars in Europe be equipped with automatic emergency call (eCall) technology.

This is part of the Intelligent Car flagship initiative and is to be implemented by 2010 at the earliest.

Earlier this month in Munich, BMW unveiled its prototype eCall emergency rescue system.

By Marie Boran