MWC LAS VEGAS 2023: US operator AT&T continued to build on its momentum in the connected car space by announcing it’s now the connectivity provider for Rivian’s consumer and commercial electric vehicles across North America.

Hardmon Williams, SVP, Connected Solutions for AT&T, stated during his keynote address the transition to electric vehicles has been accelerating with automakers introducing new models and governments offering incentives to promote electric mobility.

He stated the prevalence of electric or autonomous vehicles over the next five to seven years has created a demand for technologies that fuel software-defined vehicles. Because the vehicle is software-defined, updates have become automatic, similar to smartphone updates.

“That requires a mobile network operator to participate with those manufacturers because they’re pushing out more updates,” Williams said. “We’re just so pleased to have Rivian as an announced partner. Obviously, they are a leader in the electrification era.”

He noted Transforma Insights estimated there are 2.5 billion connected cars expected worldwide by 2030 with data consumption per car expected to increase 20-fold.

Hardman stated Rivian’s vehicles were highly adaptable and customisable through software updates to enable continuous improvements, enhanced user experiences and the addition of new features going forward.

Aside of the connectivity, Williams stated AT&T and Rivian were aligned on some of the same environmental goals.

“If you look at the design factor of their vehicles, as relates to the battery, and its ability to be reused, that’s a tactical approach that we use inside of AT&T’s portfolio,” he said, while noting the operator re-uses thousands of devices for the purpose of environmental sustainability and emission reduction.