Cubic Telecom’s deal with car giant Audi has resulted in 60 new jobs being created in Dublin and is the starting point for envisioning the future of transport as we know it.
Cubic Telecom has created a new global connectivity platform, using a virtual SIM technology that enables 100Mbps broadband connectivity in all new Audi road cars.
The expansion will create 60 new jobs at the company’s Dublin offices, increasing the workforce from 80 to 140 employees.
‘Cubic is a fantastic example of an Irish start-up that not only has built something that is significant for Europe, but worldwide’
– SATYA NADELLA
Last year, M2M connectivity player Cubic Telecom secured an €18m investment from Audi Electronics Venture GmbH and Qualcomm to put 3G and 4G connectivity in Audi vehicles.
In June, it emerged that Cubic Telecom was selected by Audi to power wireless connectivity in all of their new cars, including the A3, A4, the new A5, the Audi Q2 and the Q7.
“Tech is powering the next revolution in motoring and our partnership with Cubic Telecom is one of its key instigators,” said Henning Dohrn, managing director of Audi Ireland.
“Cubic Telecom distils Audi’s connectivity down to a single SIM card, providing Audi drivers hassle-free access to useful online services, making their drives more convenient and efficient.”
Irish IoT innovator on the global stage
On a recent visit to Dublin, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella referred to Cubic Telecom as an innovative internet of things (IoT) company bringing their expertise to the global stage. Nadella described the company as “a fantastic example of an Irish start-up that not only has built something that is significant for Europe, but worldwide.”
Recruitment has already begun for roles across software development, network engineering and commercial departments. The company expects to have all 60 roles filled by December 2017.
In their new partnership, Cubic Telecom and Audi are bringing the first connected cars to Ireland and are promoting connected services across Europe; through one SIM card specially installed into each Audi model, thereby creating an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot.
The virtual SIM card allows 100Mbps high-speed internet access on the road, letting drivers and passengers avail of online services. These include Google Street View, traffic and parking information, and a range of infotainment features, such as email, calendar and social media integration.
The first generation of Cubic-enabled Audi vehicles launched earlier this summer in Europe and they are now available in Ireland.
Cubic Telecom CEO Barry Napier told Siliconrepublic.com that there is potential for further development of technology at other brands in the wider Volkswagen and Audi group.
“83pc of the company’s workforce are either software or network-related programmers, engineers and technicians,” he said.
Napier added that currently 40 mobile network operators around the world are connected to the Cubic Telecom platform and that by next year this will grow to 60 operators.
“The nature of car ownership is changing and the CTOs of car giants like Audi want to create a closer relationship with drivers that is based on real-time data feedback and more intelligent services,” Napier said.
Richard Molloy, head of marketing and product at Audi Ireland, confirmed this: “The ownership model for cars is definitely changing and that is being reflected in mobility services we are revealing. In the future in mega cities, car sharing initiatives could be the norm.
“For the immediate future, it is apparent that when you purchase a car, the importance of software is fundamental and the IoT has a lot to do with it.
“Software will add new revenue streams for Audi. The car is now a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot capable of supporting up to eight devices at once. Services like 3D maps from Google to even giving you information where there is parking spaces on streets is all becoming critical.
“Audi cars themselves are IoT devices that are becoming nodes on networks that can warn drivers of icy road conditions or a traffic jam on the M50.
“Smooth transfer of data over 4G, and eventually 5G, is critical to the future development of Audi cars,” Molloy said.