Telefonica’s giant booth at the latest Mobile World Congress attracted many visitors mesmerized by the chic look of the Tesla Model S, parked right in front. It was there because Tesla and Telefonica were very close to finalizing a deal to enable the electric cars’ connectivity in Europe.
The announcement of the deal came today, revealing an extensive collaboration that includes connecting the Model S cars to the internet via the Telefonica network in the UK, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands. Telefonica connectivity will come as a standard feature of the car, running on Tesla’s own computing interface.
Tesla has been approaching mobile operators in its largest and high growth markets to provide seamless connectivity, a natural complement to its innovative car technology. A few months back, the company signed AT&T as a partner in the US, its home market where it has sold the majority of the 25,000 Model S’s on the road today. Telia Sonera has partnered with Tesla in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia and Latvia since last November.
The Model S has a large touchscreen monitor on the dashboard where the user or front passenger can get most of the information related to the navigation of the car, as well as the critical data on the car’s performance like remaining battery life and diagnostics. There is probably no need to point out that it also serves as a full-fledged media center and browser.
Jose Luis Gamo, CEO at Telefonica Multinational Solutions, said “As we accelerate our transformation into a digital telco we see lots of opportunities to empower consumers. Connected cars that provide drivers with more information and a better and safer driving experience is a perfect example of this. Tesla is one of the world’s most forward thinking and exciting businesses. We share their passion for innovation and are thrilled to be working with them to deliver a superb connected in-car experience to Tesla drivers across Europe.”
The financial dimension of the deal, that is, the handsome amount of money that Tesla will be paying to Telefonica for continuous internet connection, has not been disclosed yet.
You can have a closer look at Tesla’s gem below in a video recorded at the Telefonica stand in the latest Mobile World Congress.