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"We can depend on Orange’s dedicated M2M support if additional tests or technical validations are necessary."
When it decided to launch its Discoverer black box for managing the driving of cars, EURECA SDS needed to be able to depend on a reliable and high-performance telecoms network. After analysing the market, it chose Orange. According to its President Ettore Drescig, it was the reliability of the network, the knowledge of the market and the passion of Orange’s staff that made the difference.
An original black box
In 2015, EURECA SDS developed a black box that is installed in a vehicle and monitors the driving. “Our product was developed entirely in-house and is intended to be totally open”, says Ettore Drescig, its President.
To connect its black box to its management platform, the company has to depend on a connectivity infrastructure which is reliable, secure and global, as well as supporting machine-to-machine (M2M). In other words, the Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming reality…
The Discoverer, which incorporates an Orange SIM card, provides an ultra-reliable, secure connection between the vehicle and the EURECA SDS website which offers an access portal for managing the data remotely and in real-time, as well as verifying the operation of the on-board modules. In fact, EURECA SDS opted for TRIO type cards specifically for M2M, but not reinforced.
The reliability and availability of the Orange network are even more vital because the Discoverer not only analyses the data about how the car is being driven based on its GPS position (journey time, speed, driving style, etc.), but also offers a series of custom applications, such as the possibility of finding the car’s parking space, as well as ‘freezing’ the vehicle if it has been stolen, or an alarm button to be used in an emergency.
Orange, a choice based on passion
EURECA SDS contacted the various telecom operators to request their proposals for connecting their system to the GPRS network.
Ultimately, Orange was chosen in the context of a long-term contract signed in January 2016. “The first thing that struck me was the passion that the Orange sales reps had for their product. As an Italian, passion is something very important to me.”
But other factors also came into the equation. The technical knowledge of the Orange staff specialising in M2M/IoT as well as the rigorous follow-up of the development of the Discoverer won over Ettore Drescig. Of course, there was also the quality and coverage of the Orange network. “Our GPRS card covers 18 European countries”, says the President of EURECA SDS, who points out that once the SIM card has been bought, there are no extra costs under the contract signed with Orange. In addition, EURECA SDS has benefited from the European roots of the Orange group and its experience in this type of innovative project.
This year, EURECA SDS expects to sell 1,200 SIM cards (keeping 150 to 200 cards in stock in case a customer has an urgent requirement) and is forecasting around 5,000 cards for 2017. Although its product is currently only available in the Benelux countries, the company is planning to expand to France.
“The account manager of Orange Belgium was able to provide us with the necessary technical information, and we can depend on Orange’s dedicated M2M support if additional tests or technical validations are necessary for the future versions of our products”, Ettore Drescig continues.
Last but not least, EURECA SDS is keeping a close eye on developments in the European eCall emergency call system for vehicles, planned for 2018/2020 (which is why it set up its headquarters in the suburbs of Brussels, where the European institutions are based), especially as Discoverer already offers this kind of functionality.