Strategy Analytics believes the adoption of eCall across Europe and the subsequent revenue potential from infotainment services continues to be held back by the contradictory objectives of regulators vs. automotive and wireless companies. The eCall service will automatically contact the emergency services in the event of airbag activation.
The research firm noted that the European Commission plan for mandatory eCall installation in new vehicles starting in 2010 still faces a lack of commitment from European Union countries and automotive OEMs.
Germany is expected to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) soon, according to Strategy Analytics, but the firm said that Italy has done little to actually support or help develop the system, the UK is reluctant to commit following a negative reaction to the proposed road pricing scheme, France is pushing for a system based on an existing service offered by PSA Peugeot Citroën, and the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, an early eCall supporter, is not expected to offer further support until all member states have committed.
Once launched, an eCall service could help to create a telematics installed base of six million users by 2012, generating more than €1 billion ($1.4 billion) in service revenues.
“European cellular operators have done the bare minimum necessary to comply with the EC’s plans, because a pan-European eCall service offers them little in the way of revenue potential,” said Strategy Analytics’ Clare Hughes. “Finding a balance between the need for a low cost, standardized system that can be implemented quickly yet building flexibility so telematics service revenue can be generated longer term is critical.”