LIVE FROM CTIA SUPER MOBILITY WEEK: In a morning keynote devoted to the Connected Car, AT&T argued the trend is towards more sophisticated onboard services, while General Motors spelled out the rollout of 4G connectivity across its models.
“Five or six years ago when we talked to car OEMs, it was about safety and embedded modules and cheap rates,” said Glenn Lurie, CEO of AT&T Mobility.
The operator was eager to point to a change in recent years.
Also on the platform was Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobile and Business Solutions who said the connected car represents a “new wave of opportunity for wireless, one of the most significant elements in IoT”.
More detail came from General Motors, an AT&T customer. Mary Chan, the car maker’s president, global connected consumer, gave an update since General Motors’ announcement earlier this year on rolling out 4G connectivity to some of its models by mid-2014.
She said the target is to offer 4G on 33 GM models by the end of this year.
“It’s not about building hotspots but about turning more cars into connected platforms,” she said.
Since early July, US and Canadian users are being offered 3GB of 4G data for three months to use in their cars as a trial.
According to Chan, there is a 96 per cent to 98 per cent acceptance rate of the offer among drivers. The GM service is called OnStar with 4G.
Of those in the trial, the majority of data is consumed by family and kids at weekends.
Chan said the plan is to take the service to select European countries in the second half of 2015.
Although not stated, presumably this is the 4G version of the OnStar service. Also, the implication was that this service would be delivered in Europe by AT&T, which is an interesting detail.