Telcos and automotive partnerships

December 9, 2020 - Jonathan Plant

Jonathan Plant, Marketing Director, talks about turning phone boxes into EV charging points and the new connected car use cases

Electric vehicles have been steadily on the rise across the world as the need for greener transportation becomes extremely prevalent. In 2020 it is expected that there are over a 2.5million EVs sold in 2020 and rising to 11.2million by 2025. That is some staggering growth but pretty much in line with governments and industries’ push to a greener society. There are many opportunities for operators to get on board with this growth in demand.

One example is that of eir, the telecommunications company in Ireland. They recently launched a new service for electric vehicle owners. So as the demand for telephone boxes around the country has ground to a halt. eir has announced that they have turned each of these unused telephone boxes into electric vehicle rapid chargers in towns and cities across Ireland. This is a very clever way of leveraging existing infrastructure with something that is showing growing demand. So eir partnered with a local Irish car charging company to roll out this new service. What hasn’t been clear is whether or not eir customers will get access to these sites as a customer of theirs. This is a great opportunity for eir to grow their customer base and value to customers who have electric vehicles by offering additional/free charging minutes at these locations as part of sign up or retention offer.

This is a great example of an operator thinking outside the box, how many operators are there around the world like eir who have these phone boxes that never get used but are in prime locations for electric charging points. Once the operator signs up one of these customers and knows that they are an electric vehicle owner, there are many upsell opportunities available to them. The connected car is one of them. The ability to upsell an additional sim to have in the car to ensure that the customer can get ultra-fast, low latency connectivity to best navigate through busy cities and get up to date information on upcoming weather conditions etc. as well as your kids being able to connect their devices in the car whilst on a long journey could be worth its weight in gold.

Once you have a connected car, you have the opportunity to gather vital statistics and driving data that could be shared with insurance companies. This information could help towards reducing the customer’s premiums or help organisations and governments with vital information about driving data. This data could go towards driver safety by understanding why an accident may have happened or simply better understand why traffic congestion might be happening in certain areas at certain times which will allow local authorities to act upon this. 

As we rely on connectivity more and more in our daily lives, service providers that have the vision to see this as an opportunity to not only grow their revenues, but also help out with driving down emissions and providing cutting edge data that could help keep our roads safer for the years ahead.


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