Sierra Wireless and G&D equip cars with ‘fast, secure, flexible’ solution for Russian ERA-GLONASS


The situation is a nightmare for every driver: an attempt to avoid an animal on the road goes terribly wrong. Within a fraction of a second, the car loses control and crashes. This mostly happens in rural, deserted areas, so precious time can be lost before help gets on the way, especially if the driver is hurt and unable to call for assistance.

Modern connected cars can nowadays reduce this threat with emergency call services – eCall in Europe, ERA (Emergency Road Assistance) in Russia – which enable the car to call for help automatically. The main challenge is establishing a connection to the emergency system very quickly. Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) is now presenting a fast and flexible solution for the Russian ERA-GLONASS system together with Sierra Wireless. A live demo of the solution can be experienced during Mobile World Congress in Hall 7 at Stand 7A41.

One key element connecting the car to a mobile network and exchanging various data is the telematics control unit (TCU). Sierra Wireless is providing the wireless communication module for the TCU, which is perfectly integrated with the SkySIM Argo eUICC product from G&D. Telematics services, navigation features, or mobile voice or data communication require a commercial subscription with one of the Russian mobile network operators (MNOs) and this is typically picked by the automotive OEM. For ERA, the communication relies on the Russian ERA-GLONASS system and the GLONASS Union, the Non-Commercial Partnership (NP) for Development and Use of Navigation Technologies, to achieve universal network coverage. In the case of an emergency, the challenge is to switch from the commercial network to the NP GLONASS network as quickly as possible. The solution from G&D and Sierra Wireless is able to fulfill the challenging ERA-GLONASS task of reducing the first alarm call time to a minimum.

In order to offer car manufacturers as much flexibility as possible, the SIM embedded in the vehicle will be easy to configure via a subscription management solution from G&D. This market technology allows the car to be delivered without the need for pre-determined destinations to be known when it leaves the assembly line. As soon as the car enters Russian territory, the G&D embedded SIM can be configured with the NP GLONASS subscription as well as the commercial one if needed – all remotely over the air (OTA) at the dealership.

“As the connected society becomes a reality, connected cars are becoming standard as well. Besides some new challenges, this development also brings many advantages, as the automated call for help with ERA shows. In order to use all of these to the full extent, we need flexible, reliable, and secure ways to establish network connectivity,” says Axel Deininger, group senior vice president and head of the Enterprise Security & OEM division at G&D. “With our automotive SIMs and the market-leading subscription management offering, we enable automotive manufactures to move beyond national connectivity boundaries and meet current and future mobility requirements.”


“We are very happy to provide the automotive industry with a solution that supports the ERA-GLONASS standards. The smooth integration of the G&D SIMs with our module was key to meeting the challenging requirements,” says Olivier Pauzet, vice president, market strategy for Sierra Wireless. “Even more beneficial is the flexibility G&D offers. We now have a complete solution for automotive OEMs to fulfill the requirements of the Russian market, but it is well suited for other international use cases as well.”

ERA-GLONASS is the Russian equivalent of the European eCall system. The solutions are interoperable and are both aimed at diminishing the consequences of severe car crashes as well as improving support for drivers in need of help. ERA-GLONASS is based on the Russian satellite navigation system run by the GLONASS Union, the Non-Commercial Partnership for Development and Use of Navigation Technologies. GLONASS provides a satellite-based positioning and navigation system, a Russian alternative to the American Global Positioning System (GPS).

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