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Viasat builds IoT network for connected vehicle insurance

Satellite connectivity services supplier’s worldwide internet of things network will support customers operating connected vehicles

Satellite connectivity services supplier Viasat is to offer a global internet of things (IoT) roaming service to provide services such as insurance, fleet management, security and safety, and telematics to its automotive sector customers.

The Italy-based firm has enlisted Orange Business Services to run a three-year, multimillion-euro contract covering up to 350,000 SIM cards.

Using its Datavenue service, Orange will supply rugged IoT connectivity to enable Viasat’s remote telematics boxes to send and receive data, SMS and voice, while satellite tracking technology will enhance a comprehensive insurance offering for the automotive industry.

“Our telematics solutions need global coverage to provide a complete service for our customers in the fleet and insurance industries,” said Massimo Getto, vice-president and CFO at Viasat. “Among our partners, we selected Orange Business Services for IoT connectivity because of their wide coverage, flat rate pricing across the European Union and comprehensive international support.”

Viasat will also have access to Orange’s IoT management platform to let users manage and update their SIM card estates, including ordering, suspending and reactivating SIMs, setting data consumption alerts, and blocking them if needed. This platform will also integrate into customers’ back-end systems for reporting and billing.

The firm said the move would allow its customers to improve the quality of their driving experience, improving safety on the roads and lowering insurance premiums.

“Viasat needed multi-roaming capabilities to cover 100% of its markets and an international partner with global reach and support, capable of managing a very high number of SIM cards,” said Helmut Reisinger, executive vice-president international at Orange Business Services. “With our full-service Datavenue offer, we can contribute to an improved driver experience, all while supporting Viasat’s business.”

Read more about connected vehicles

Orange has been busy rolling out its Datavenue service around the automotive industry in early 2017, having recently signed a similar pan-European deal with car rental service Hertz, enabling the hire firm to keep track of a fleet of keyless cars that it lets out on a short-term basis.

Insurance is increasingly being positioned at the front line of the shift towards IoT-enabled businesses, and last year the UK became the first country in the world to introduce legislation on insurance requirements for connected and autonomous cars in the Modern Transport Bill. In June 2016, specialist car insurance provider Adrian Flux became the first UK company to offer a dedicated policy for driverless cars.

Current thinking tends to hold that future policies are likely to hold vehicles and manufacturers liable for accidents, which suggests the suppliers of the underlying technology will also come under scrutiny in the event of a technology failure leading to a claim.

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