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Telefonica’s Teutonic arm, O2 Germany, has partnered up with Zubie to provide an O2-branded version of the Nokia-funded “quantified driving” outfit’s Key device and service.
The [company]Zubie[/company] Key plugs into the on-board diagnostics OBD II port of a car (most cars produced since 1996 have them) to provide some the same functionality that’s being built into modern cars, such as GPS tracking and internet connection via a SIM card.
This means drivers can monitor their vehicle diagnostics through an associated app, so they get reminders of when they need to visit a service station, information about the condition of the engine and car battery charge, and so on. The GPS functionality should also help locate stolen vehicles, and give people a way to track the car if it has been lent to a friend or family member.
For O2’s customers, the service is now called O2 Car Connection. For €149 ($189), they get the module, the app and a year’s service. After that year, they’ll need to pay €5 a month to keep using it. This is quite similar to other partnerships such as that between Zubie rival Mojio and [company]AT&T[/company], though AT&T isn’t acting as Mojio’s entry point into a new market in the way O2 Germany is with Zubie.
A company spokesman told me that [company]Telefonica[/company] is considering potentially rolling out the Zubie-based product and service in other markets as well. The carrier is also working with Tesla to provide connected car data services in Europe, including in Germany.
This article was updated at 11.55am PT to note that Mojio ended up partnering with AT&T rather than T-Mobile US.