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Vodacom has recently partnered with Altron Netstar and Toyota to introduce a first of its kind IoT partnership on the African continent. Data transfer via mobile networks is, in essence, the lifeblood to the connected car ecosystem, and Vodacom’s scale and market penetration within this space made it the partner of choice for Altron Netstar and Toyota to drive the next phase of connected vehicles. In terms of the agreement, Vodacom will provide Toyota vehicles with in-vehicle Wi-Fi and telematics connectivity – enabling seamless communications between vehicle owners and their vehicles.
The WIFI solution offers owners a once-off, in-app registration with digital KYC (Know your customer), automatic allocation of a Toyota sponsored data bundle, in-app Vodacom data recharge and payment via credit card using Vodacom's VodaPay solution. The solution further allows automatic top-up via other Vodacom retail channels as well as voucher top-up. The telemetry data is collected on a secure data channel and is integrated into the Toyota backends systems that allow customers to have easy access via the app to data such as battery life, vehicle location, driver scoring and many other Toyota specific in-app service offerings. The solution is currently in Phase 2 design which will see additional Vodacom services being incorporated into Toyota Connect as well as other service Toyota channels.
William Mzimba, Chief Officer, Vodacom Business, says: 'This partnership is a key part of Vodacom’s IoT strategy, and is a step closer to realising our strategy of creating opportunities for innovation in South Africa as well as the broader continent, bolstered by growth in the IoT space. Just like smartphones, cars today will need to be connected to provide a dynamic user experience. We are witnessing an increasing number of car buyers ranking in-car technology as important as vehicle performance. They want their cars to be safe, efficient, better equipped and fun. By connecting people to platforms that will manage the complexity of streaming music from the cloud, real-time traffic information and personalised roadside assistance, we can meet these growing demands.'
Through this partnership, Vodacom aims to connect vehicle owners to smart features, such as built-in entertainment streaming and access to real-time traffic information. The partnership also marks the start of a longer-term vision to enable a more connected society by paving the way for the expansion of broadband access to as many South Africans as possible.
Vodacom’s partnership with Altron Netstar and Toyota is the first step towards a more connected future, where autonomous cars will become a reality. Creating seamless connectivity between these platforms and vehicle owners is part of Vodacom’s strategy to enable South Africa to transition into the global digitalisation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.