Vodafone brings dedicated IoT SIMs to consumer telecoms market

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Dedicated internet of things V by Vodafone V-Sim cards could be a game-changer.

Vodafone has become the first telecoms operator in Ireland to bring dedicated internet of things (IoT) SIM cards to the consumer market.

These V-Sim cards will be shipped as standard with IoT-enabled consumer electronics products sold by Vodafone from today (9 August).

‘Over the next decade, the expansion of IoT into consumer markets will bring about a dramatic shift in how people manage their daily lives, at home and in their leisure time’
– VITTORIO COLAO

A V by Vodafone smartphone app will provide users with an intuitive overview of all IoT-enabled products that are registered to their account.

Setting up each product requires scanning a QR code to register it and add it to the monthly fee of their existing Vodafone mobile account.

The SIMs

The new SIMs will connect to Vodafone’s IoT networks in 32 countries.

Unlike Wi-Fi enabled devices, V by Vodafone products will be constantly connected wherever there is a mobile signal.

V-Auto. Image: Vodafone

V-Auto. Image: Vodafone

Among the launch products is V-Auto, which is a plug-and-drive dongle that can be added to most vehicles on European roads. This device includes an auto SOS function, a ‘Find my Car’ tracking function, and a Safety Score function for helping younger or inexperienced drivers improve their road sense. It will retail for €80 up front and has a €2.99 per month connectivity fee.

V-camera. Image: Vodafone

V-Camera. Image: Vodafone

The launch products also include V-Camera, a wireless HD mobile security camera that automatically connects to Vodafone’s IoT network. It will cost €350 up front and €4.99 per month on bills.

V-bag. Image: Vodafone

V-Bag. Image: Vodafone

Finally, there is V-Bag, a briefcase, handbag and schoolbag tracker that will alert users if their bag leaves a designated area such as a playground or crowded bar. V-Bag will cost €60 with a €2.99 monthly bill fee.

 

“The internet of things is already beginning to transform how businesses operate,” Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao said.

“Over the next decade, the expansion of IoT into consumer markets will bring about an equally dramatic shift in how people manage their daily lives, at home and in their leisure time. V by Vodafone makes it simple to connect a wide range of IoT-enabled devices, helping customers keep everyone and everything that matters to them safe and secure. We look forward to applying our world-leading expertise in IoT to help consumers make the most of the next phase of the global digital revolution.”

Vodafone estimates that by 2020 there will be more than 370m consumer electronics and smart home devices capable of connection to mobile IoT networks in the countries in which Vodafone operates, up from around 50m today.

Recent ComReg figures from March indicated 13.8pc of all SIM cards in the Irish market are machine-to-machine (M2M) SIMs.

In Q4 2017, Vodafone Group had the largest market share of M2M subscriptions at 49.2pc followed by Three Group with 47.7pc of market share. Eir had the remaining 3pc of M2M subscriptions.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com