Irish IoT player in €20m connected car deal with Telstra in Oz

17 Oct 2017

Image: David Fryer/Shutterstock

New deal will give Cubic Telecom and Telstra plenty of room to vroom in the connected-car future.

Dublin-headquartered Cubic Telecom has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Telstra Wholesale to deliver connectivity solutions to the automotive industry. The deal is reportedly worth €20m.

Cubic Telecom’s partnership with Telstra Wholesale will enable in-car access to a suite of infotainment apps and a Wi-Fi hotspot throughout Australia via the former’s integrated e-SIM and software platform.

Cubic Telecom CEO Barry Napier described the partnership with Telstra’s wholesale divison as a significant milestone that will complement his company’s Asia Pacific roll-out strategy.

“We are delighted to join forces with Telstra Wholesale, the leading wholesaler of telecommunications and network services in Australia. Together, we are enabling our global automotive customers to roll out an exciting and robust in-car connectivity solution for drivers in Australia.”

Glenn Osborne, executive director of sales at Telstra Wholesale, said the company is taking an innovative partnership approach to drive its commercial success in the Australian market.

“The MoU with Cubic Telecom is testament to that approach and we look forward to a successful partnership together.”

Mission to trade

The Telstra deal was announced during an Irish Government trade mission to Australia led by President Michael D Higgins.

“This is a tremendous milestone for Cubic Telecom, a company that Enterprise Ireland has been supporting to achieve its global ambition,” said Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon.

“Irish companies are ranked as some of the leading innovative companies in the world and it’s this key competitive advantage that they bring to markets worldwide. Cubic Telecom is a great example of how innovative Irish companies can successfully enter and scale in new markets.”

Cubic Telecom – which counts Audi and Qualcomm as investors, and Microsoft and Volkswagen as customers – recently revealed a new global connectivity platform, using a virtual SIM technology that enables 100Mbps broadband connectivity in all new Audi road cars.

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.

A recent expansion created 60 new jobs at Cubic Telecom’s Dublin offices, increasing the workforce from 80 to 140 employees.

In 2015, Cubic Telecom secured an €18m investment from Audi Electronics Venture and Qualcomm to put 3G and 4G connectivity in Audi vehicles. In 2014, the company was believed to have scored a major deal with Tesla to install the former’s technology in all 7,500 Tesla vehicles sold in China.

It was recently reported that Cubic Telecom is close to clinching a €35m investment round that will value it at €200m.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years