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First mobile telematics service launched: SK Telecom

Carol Ko | April 21, 2009
South Korean telco's mobile telematics services include remote diagnosis, control of vehicles safety and security, route guidance and entertainment.

World's first mobile telematics service enabling mobile phones to control cars showcased at Auto Shanghai 2009

HONG KONG, 21 APRIL 2009 SK Telecom has launched what it claims to be the world's first mobile telematics service, Mobile in Vehicle (MIV), in Shanghai, China.

The South Korea-based telecommunications operator's MIV service enables remote control of vehicles via mobile phones.

Expanding telematics services

Traditional telematics services provide only limited range of services, such as route guidance, location information and data communication by combining wireless network to automobiles.

With MIV, telematics now offers mobile telecommunications technology, platform and content, representing a new concept of convergence services where customers can use their mobile phones to diagnose and control their cars, and use various multimedia services.

At this week's Auto Shanghai 2009 exhibition, SK Telecom demonstrated services in four areas: vehicle diagnosis and control, safety and security, route guidance, and entertainment services.

The vehicle diagnosis and control service allows users to check driving gear performance engine, brakes and so on and get fuel-related information as well as controlling various parts and components. These include door, trunk, headlight and taillight. The safety and security service enables vehicle monitoring and tracking in case of theft. The route guidance service provides the shortest path to the destination based on real time traffic information provided through mobile networks. And the entertainment service allows users to play music or video in car without having to download them from mobile handsets, thanks to phone-automobile synchronisation via wireless networks such as wideband code division multiple access, wireless local area network and bluetooth.

Compatible with non-smart phones

Sung-Chul Hong, executive vice president and head of next Internet business division of SK Telecom said: Over a one-year period of development, SK Telecom gained much know-how and the capability for developing and commercialising mobile telematics technologies. The telematics service provided in the form of a package offering mobile telecommunications technology, platform and contents is promising. It can be used via both smart phones and non-smart phones, thereby making it highly compatible with all types and brands of automobiles worldwide.

The company put in much effort to develop a convergence service between ICT and automobiles ever since its Java-based mobile technology called Telematics API [Application programming interface] for Java ME' was recognised as a global standard by the Java Community Process in June 2008. The technology enables remote control of vehicles using mobile telecommunications technology.

Mass production in 2009

SK Telecom expects the promising convergence service market, which combines information and communications technology with the automobile industry, to reach US$15.4 billion (20 trillion Korean won) by 2010.

The company plans to commercialise a mass production type of MIV this year and create a new mobile telecommunications convergence model by forging partnerships with global carmakers to equip pre-delivery vehicles with MIV service.


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