5G and eSIM used in turning cars into interconnected devices


Klára Pálossy

4 min read

September 23, 2021

Partnering with BMW, Deutsche Telekom (DT) and Vodafone have integrated technology into a vehicle for the very first time. Back in 2018, we were the digital vendor of DT delivering a self-care app module that allowed the management of such eSIM-enabled devices.

Have you heard of eSIMs? Perhaps even using one? While most of us still carry an actual tiny SIM card inside our cell phones, virtual eSIMs have in fact been around for a while, shaping the telco industry by offering an intriguing road to innovation.

Read about how as part of an R&D project we teamed up with DT on eSIM management in 2018.

In early September the topic received quite a boost, when through a tie-up with BMW, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone both launched their first mobile option for 5G networking in production cars.

According to BMW Group, in addition to the standard integrated eSIM, the setup involves the use of a personal eSIM, which turns the vehicle into another interconnected device. Similar to that of a smartwatch. The installed technology enables both eSIMs to be active on 5G at the same time and with the full range of services. As the personal eSIM is linked directly to the customer’s BMW ID, its settings can also be transferred to other enabled vehicles, be it even a rental.

BMW has always been a pioneer in the networking of mobility. We already installed the first SIM card in a vehicle back in 1997. With the 5G Personal eSIM, we are now integrating a completely new level of connectivity for our customers in the car.

– Stephan Durach, Senior Vice President of Connected Company Development and Operations BMW Group, as quoted in the company’s press release.
Photo: BMW Group

Together with the premium car manufacturer, Deutsche Telekom has always walked the front line in the adoption of eSIM technology, and we were fortunate enough to experience that firsthand back in 2018. And of course, to manage eSIM-compatible IoT devices, smartwatches and well, cars, a mobile application is a perfect fit.

As DT’s digital agency, we jointly delivered a native Android app and an intermediary middleware that allows the management of various eSIM supported devices – named the Multi Device Management (MDM) app.

The MDM app delivered by Mito Digital
Photo: Deutsche Telekom

Partnering up with BMW, the solution was demoed by the operator at the Mobile World Congress that year.

Our own journey in the telecommunications industry

As a digital vendor with ten years of domain experience, at Mito Digital we are proud of having worked with both of these innovative telecom companies.

Being the digital creative agency of Vodafone for 5 years, we delivered several standalone solutions, such as the design and implementation of vodafone.hu and the self-care app. Later on, as one of the core digital agencies of Deutsche Telekom Group, we delivered numerous e-commerce, self-care and innovation projects for both the B2C and B2B markets. Among them was the next-generation self-care app of the European footprint: the One App replaced five existing ones and became one of DT’s flagship projects in 2018.

Over the last decade, incumbent telcos progressed from Communications Service Providers (CSP) towards Digital Service Providers (DSP), definitely making more than just a one letter’s difference. And although digital transformation is still not smooth sailing for those dragged by legacy systems, innovation and real impact is possible  – as the investment in eSIM and related digital solutions shows. In the case of the MDM app, we designed and developed the frontend, connecting it to the complex backend systems – forged ahead under the uncertainties of Research & Development work with DT at the time.

Upcoming technologies are exciting.

And while operators are moving towards being perceived as utility providers in the eyes of their customers (who want their self-care apps as easy and smooth as possible), there certainly are thrilling new opportunities telcos can seize to extend their capabilities and revenue streams.

One thing is for sure: we will be here, paying close attention. Can’t wait to see what is next!

Mito Digital is a business unit of Mito, a unique powerhouse of creative & digital experts with a passion for clever things. We have been working with our clients around the globe for more than ten years, in numerous industries from aviation through lottery and retail to telecommunications. Our goal is to design and deliver smart, human-centered and best-in-class digital solutions that meet and exceed the business goals of our clients as well as the demands of their clients. Our expertise in the telco industry covers applications and portals both in the B2C and in the B2B segment, responsible for self-service and sales functionalities.

The author(s)

Content Writer

Klara writes about digital for people who love digital stuff, mostly in digital form. Be it aviation or lottery, design or mobile development, she is on the lookout for good stories at Mito Digital, and has a genuine interest in how to make the digital world a better place for users. Sometimes, she writes analog too – shopping lists and haikus, mostly.

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